Imagine being a teacher at this rural Oregon school. You're sitting there, probably enjoying some stale coffee and a croissant, chatting with other teachers at a meeting, when suddenly two masked men wearing hoodies burst in carrying guns and begin firing. You're hit. Once, twice, three times. You see no escape. You see your fellow teachers also being blasted with gunfire. Your life flashes before your eyes; you think about the parents, children, and friends you will leave behind. And then suddenly you realize there's no blood. And no one is dying. And you're okay too. And that's when it dawns on you. The bullets, the masked men, and the entire scenario are FAKE. Tah dah! Yes, this really happened. A school decided to give its teachers an "active shooter drill" -- but failed to tell them about it.
The drill was designed to test Pine Eagle Charter School's readiness in case of a Sandy Hook-type scenario. And apparently the drill showed that most of the teachers in the classroom would have died that day.
Said teacher Morgan Gover:
I'll tell you, the whole situation was horrible. I got a couple in the front and a couple in the back.
Although the staff had received some training from the local sheriff's office, none of them was expecting a surprise drill on that level. So there was real terror in the room -- at least for a few seconds.
As if teachers don't have enough to worry about. Seriously, this could have gone really wrong. Imagine a teacher with a heart condition having a heart attack and dying for some fake drill.
The drill did have a few "teachable" moments. Some teachers realized they didn't recognize the sound of gunfire and would have "blown it off as kids' sounds in the hall." Now they know what it sounds like.
Others realized how truly unprepared they were and made some changed to their classrooms -- like keeping their doors locked and knowing where the escape routes are.
I suppose there is nothing like the fake thing you think is real to prepare you for the real thing.
But I also imagine now the teachers will be living in a permanent state of fear realizing how easily the element of surprise could mean their deaths. Don't teachers have enough to worry about? I remember my mom saying how scarred she was by nuclear bomb drills that her classroom had as children. As if there is realistically anything you can do to hide from a nuclear bomb.
The principal says he's gotten some criticism over the drill but believes it was a valuable lesson. This is the type of thing that school shootings leave behind -- fear where there shouldn't be. It's a tragedy that teachers, kids, and parents have to live with this.
Do you think an unexpected drill like this is a good idea?
Image via perpetualplum/Flickr