When I applied to college to become an educator, I did not know I was potentially signing up to give the ultimate sacrifice, my life. With the increase of school shootings, this is a potential reality for educators. This leaves school districts scrambling to find the best way to prepare students and staff to survive a school shooting, but shooting teachers with fake bullets is not the answer.
Being shot with fake bullets can be just as traumatizing as being actually shot. The Indianapolis Star reported:
The active-shooter training exercise at an Indiana elementary school in January left teachers with welts, bruises and abrasions after they were shot with plastic pellets by the local sheriff’s office conducting the session.
The teachers were participating in the ALICE (Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate) training, but the Indy Star also reported that plastic pellets would no longer be used in future trainings.
The White County sheriff said Thursday that his department has conducted similar trainings before but, after receiving a complaint, will no longer use the air-powered device, called an airsoft gun, with teachers.
Using fake bullets is just as absurd as President Trump’s suggestion last year of giving teachers bonuses for being armed in the classroom. All we are doing is being reactionary. Instead of reforming our gun laws, we are putting a bandage on the situation. Teachers should be focused on executing strong lessons, not making plans to avoid shooters.
No, we cannot ignore this situation, but we need to put more pressure on our lawmakers to protect all of us so teachers are not put in a situation of risking their lives to save their students or making it home to their families.