April 3, 2019

Lawmakers Move To Prohibit Projectiles During School Safety Trainings

House Bill 1004 primarily focuses on grant funding for mental health resources and school hardening.  - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

House Bill 1004 primarily focuses on grant funding for mental health resources and school hardening.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

State lawmakers voted to stop the kind of active shooter training that injured several Indiana elementary school teachers this year. The amendment to House Bill 1004 – a wide-ranging school safety funding bill – prohibits the use of projectiles during school training or drills. 

Last month, during testimony on HB 1004, Indiana State Teachers Association, ISTA, official Gail Zeheralis told lawmakers how teachers and cafeteria staff were shot with metal pellets

Zeheralis says the employees were brought into a room, asked to crouch down and then shot execution style with metal pellets from a gun. Staff reported bruises, welts and broken skin. 

The training conducted by the White County Sheriff Department at a Monticello, Indiana, school sparked nationwide attention. A teacher from Meadowlawn Elementary School, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the incident along with ISTA leaders.  

Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville), the author the school safety funding bill HB 1004, says she’s supportive of the added language. 

“I would never assume that somebody would actually go through an active shooter training simulation using pellets against teachers,” McNamara says. “Obviously it did happen but I couldn't imagine that somebody would do that.”

The ISTA advocated for the amendment to ban projectiles during school trainings and drills, which would apply to all public and charter schools. 

The Senate Education Committee passed the wide-ranging school safety funding bill around the amendment with a unanimous vote.

Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.

 

 

Related News

As Hoosier schools finalize teacher contracts, many with major pay raises
Pardoned presidential turkeys come to live at Purdue University
Surge in Indiana high school students taking career, technical education classes