In a surprise exercise carried out at Pine Eagle Charter School in Halfway Oregon, two masked men burst into the school and opened up with blank-firing handguns to test the school’s preparedness for an “active shooter” scenario, The Oregonian reports.
The staff had previously received training from the Union County Sheriff’s office about what to do if faced with a situation similar to the one in Newtown, which claimed the lives of 27 students and teachers.
When asked by The Oregonian how many teachers would have survived the assault if the shooting had in fact been real, principle Cammie DeCastro’s said, “Not many.” In fact, when the final tally was taken, only two of the 15 teachers in the school would have survived.
Elementary teacher Morgan Gover, 31, acknowledged the grim reality that she would have been among the casualties had the exercise not been a drill. “I’ll tell you, the whole situation was horrible,” she said. “I got a couple in the front and a couple in the back.”
According to reports, the staff were caught totally by surprise by the drill when the shooting started.
While the drill may seem extreme and has received some criticism, DeCastro stood behind it: “For us not to know how we were going to respond is leaving us open,” she said, and the teachers in the school appear to agree with her.
Dollie Beck, 54, a teacher at the school said, “I’m in charge of a pile of kids. … It made me analyze, as a teacher, what my role is for these babies.”