Masked Gunmen Shoot on Teachers at School -- But It's Not What It Appears

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

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LostS... LostSoul88

The school should have at least told them a drill like that will happen but not inform them when. What if a teacher was able to get to the "gunmen" and do some serious harm to them?

nonmember avatar NoWay

LostSoul88 ... I was thinking the same thing. The "gunmen" could have been hurt or killed. This was a poorly thought out stunt. It was very dangerous all around. Teachers could have been hurt while trying to escape, too ...

roman... romanceparty4u

No. Imagine if a teacher or maintenance man were secretly armed. This whole thing could have gone wrong and fast.


PonyC... PonyChaser

We regularly have tornado drills, fire drills, probably earthquake drills on the West Coast. During those drills - which often are a surprise - alarms are sounded, and you do exactly as you would if you were in a real situation.

How do you propose we ensure that our teachers and children are prepared if there's a shooting? You don't want teachers/staff carrying guns. It has been repeatedly said that there should be NOBODY on campus with a gun, because "what if?" It has been shown over and over that security systems fail.

So what would you have schools do? Put their heads in the sand and ignore the situation? Have a preset drill? "Ok, teachers, we're going to have a Shooter Drill tomorrow at 10:00. The principal is going to stand in the hallway and bang on a pot and you're going to pretend to lock your doors. Now really try and imagine what it would be like. But we don't want anyone to be disturbed, or afraid, so we're not going to make it too realistic. Just pretend like you feel scared, ok?"

B.S. Back in the '50's, they had those nuclear drills because it was a very real threat. We know now that nothing would have helped, but they did the best they could with what they had. Why shouldn't we do the same for our students and teachers? If you read the article, none of the teachers thought it was a bad idea. Yes, they were scared, but it prompted them to TRULY THINK about what should be done in that situation.

LadyM... LadyMinni

We had drills for this in my elementary and middle schools. Someone would get over the intercom and announce "Teachers need to turn in their red folders after class." Red was the code color for shooter/intruder. The teachers would get a panicked look and lock the door, cover the window in it, and close the blinds. We kids would get as far from the door as possible. A few of the bigger boys would usually turn some desks on their sides as a little extra shield.

I don't know if the teachers were told that the drills were happening, but that's how we did it. It was much safer than a fake shooting. No one ever got hurt.

Nelli... NellieAthome

Scared or not - those teachers learned more in those few minutes than they would have in hours of training. And what they learned will help keep their studenst safe if the unthinkable happens.

*Every* teacher should go to the firing range annually and familiarize themselves with what a gun sounds like.

nonmember avatar Tammy

They had a drill similar at my son's High School right after Sandy Hook, my son was at the pencil sharpener at the fro on the class when the "Shooter" came in (In was his assistant principle) My Son hit him in the face and took him down. This is No Joke either. So glad, in a way, that he has martial arts training. Also glad he didn't get suspended either.

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