Make your home page

Sheriff to alter active-shooter training for teachers

MONTICELLO, Ind. (WISH) — The White County Sheriff’s Office is responding after a story about its active-shooter training in schools received some national attention. He said he will make some changes to the safety training for educators. 

Earlier this week, the Indiana State Teachers Association talked about a training at Meadowlawn Elementary School in Monticello. ISTA representatives said teachers were shot execution-style with pellet guns in a small room. ISTA added that the training even made at least one teacher bleed. 

White County Sheriff Bill Brooks said he is standing by his department.

“This teaches them the reality of ‘I have to act. I’m not going to go down,’” he said of the training. 

Chief Deputy David Roth was at that training. He said he has been a part of trainings for several years. He said there has never been an issue. At this session, no one came forward as having an injury.

“I was there for six hours. I didn’t have anyone complain of any pain,” he said, adding they make sure to have emergency personnel on hand just in case something does happen. 

Sheriff Brooks said part of the training is to teach teachers to fight back. A mock shooter will pull teachers, all who volunteer, into a room. If they don’t fight back, he ends up shooting them.

At the same time, the sheriff and Roth said they take steps to make sure everyone is safe. The department gave a paintball mask to each teacher participating and had them turn around to make sure no one got accidentally hit in the face. 

The department also used airsoft guns, which Roth said are toys and his children have them. They use plastic-covered pellets.

The sheriff also said teachers have reached out to thank the department for their realistic training. One teacher reached out to News 8 and said the training was “very valuable.”

However, because of the complaints from the ISTA, Brooks said, the department will discontinue shooting airsoft guns at teachers during active-shooter training where educators are participating. 

He said that’s a shame because he fears teachers won’t be as prepared if a shooting ever happened inside one of their schools.