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Police shot teachers with airsoft guns during active shooter drill

[A recent article from "The Blaze"] "In Indiana, Police shot teachers with airsoft guns during active shooter drill: 'This is what happens if you just cower'…
and the teachers were not pleased…"

"Indiana elementary school teachers were shot with pellet guns during an active shooter training drill in January, motivating the teacher's union to lobby for a legislative ban on the practice, according to the Indianapolis Star." [excerpt from the article]

I have incredible respect for educators, and as Active Shooting Instructors, we at Get Trained Be Ready, understand we live in a time where the rules have changed and we have to learn and adapt our responses to new realities. These officers were teaching that "Hide, and Hope" is not a valid response to an Active Killer inside the facility. The educators and students need more options than traditional lockdown.

"Teachers who participated in the drill complained of welts and bleeding from the airsoft gun pellets" [excerpt from the article] Some protective equipment was in use, but using these types of tools with untrained and unsuspecting event attendees was obviously not the best use of that training model. The idea is to bring realization of what can happen and options on how to mitigate it. Not to traumatize the attendees. We want them to leave with eyes wide open to possibilities, but not leave with a sense of fear. We want them to leave with a sense of emancipation from outmoded thinking, not terrified of additional training.

Sometimes when we do similar (but not hazardous) drills, the pushback is really emotional denial linked to a previously held non-working belief system. Some people get vested in a certain way of thinking and have trouble overcoming it. I see this mentality in a variety of types of training that we do, not just Active Shooter / Mass Killer training. I also see it in defensive shooting on best ways to reload to grip to disbelief of the body's natural reactions under stress and others.

That being said, Active Shooter / Mass Killer training many times isn't done at the armed responder level. It is often done with people who, first of all, don't want to be armed and they are in places where gun free zones are the norm. These are people who respect and depend on law enforcement to be there when (or if) they need them to be, but this type of training can elicit some emotional responses that are difficult to digest. The simple, but statistically accurate, fact that there is on average a casualty created every 7-8 seconds during this type of event forces some to reconsider the options they have always been comfortable with. When you explain that out of those casualties, half of them die, that amps up emotional reponses as well.

Lt Colonel (retired) Dave Grossman says: "Our enemy is denial. Denial is a big, white, fluffy blanket we pull up over our eyes and pretend the bad men will never come. Now is the time to act. Now is the time to prepare. Now is the time to train your mind on excellence.”

Let's take an example. Fire Drills are performed, not merely discussed. We realize fires are dangerous events that are chaotic and life threatening. We perform fire drills so people will know what to do, how long it takes, where to go, and what might possibly happen. We don't just "hope for the best", we train them. We certainly don't tell the kids to cower, hide, hope, and wait on the firemen to arrive to get them out. We give the educators tools and resources along with training and practice to be able to help save these kid's lives.

We need to do the same with Active Shooter / Mass Killer training. We need to make sure it is safe, but it has to be realistic as well. Without frequent and realistic training, we can't expect the results we need to achieve. We need to enable people to think, process, choose a response and do these things quickly. Safety is paramount to learning. Safety is achieved through thoughtful implementation of instruction by qualified instructors who care about outcomes. The audience being instructed will drive the type of drills you run to achieve a desired result. Using blank guns, force on force, or even marking rounds might be an effective training tool in certain circumstances with armed security teams who are expected to mitigate threats in direct action type environments. Any training of this type should be conducted with properly trained instructors and (if needed) role players. With an audience made up of educators (or perhaps others in a corporate environment) who are not expected to actively mitigate a threat, we need to consider training that will best suit them to achieve the goal of most lives saved.

Another issue at hand here that needs consideration is that law enforcement is coming when we call (and they want to be there as quickly as possible), but they may get there too late to stop much of the killing. I think it's a very good thing for law enforcement to train at schools in off hours to learn the facility and enhance their ability to respond and neutralize a threat of that nature, but we need to do more to train educators who are on site all day every day and have great familiarity of both the facilities and the students.

We need to provide options and a seminar is a great place to start, but there comes a point in time when we need to perform, not simply discuss. We need to see what it takes to build a barricade. We need to know how long it takes to get out of the building to a safe zone or rally point. We need to know what to do if barricading or evacuating are not options. We need to see how well communications really work. We need a greater understanding of real outcomes based on individual decisions made by people who are in that situation in the heat of the moment. We need to give them the authority to make decisions and do what's necessary at that moment to save lives.

That means we need a plan.

If you have a plan, but never put feet on it and practice it, that's not a plan. That's called an idea.

Ideas don't save lives. Plans do.

Come train with us:

Complete article referenced from The Blaze can be found here:

Other articles, same incident, here:

Rob Jennings is one of our instructors. Find out more about him on our instructors page.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
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