Indiana Active Shooting Drill Goes Overboard With Plastic Bullets

Police car with emergency lights on.

Police car with emergency lights on.

Indiana recently started working towards getting House Bill 1004 through the Statehouse. The bill deals with eliminating school shootings by implementing active-shooter training exercises at least once a year. [1]

Active-Shooter Drill

Unfortunately, when an Indiana elementary school in Monticello tried out an active-shooter training exercise, the “shooters” used airsoft guns which shot plastic pellets which hit people with enough force “to the extent that welts appeared, and blood was drawn.”

During an active-shooter training exercise, or an ALICE training (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate), which encourages teachers and students to be more proactive when it comes to school shooters, in January, teachers who had signed up for training were shot with an airsoft gun.

“They told us, ‘This is what happens if you just cower and do nothing,'” a teacher who went through the January ALICE drill told the Indianapolis Star. “They shot all of us across our backs. I was hit four times. It hurt so bad.” [2]

Making Drills Safer

The airsoft gun shoots projectiles 4.6 mm in diameter, a little larger than a BB, with enough force that can leave bruises and scabs.

Thousands of schools across the United States are now using active-shooter drills to train teachers, as well as students, to handle threats of active shooters. Although using airsoft guns as part of the training is not usually part of the training, there have been multiple occurrences of injuries during these training exercises.

Most times, ALICE drills are taught in “train the trainer” models, which is essentially training someone who then goes home and trains more people. Unfortunately, this method can leave room for interpretation and can lead to some training programs being over the top.

Currently the Indiana elementary in Monticello has stopped using airsoft guns due to complaints from the teachers taking the ALICE training class. House Bill 1004 is working to be amended to prohibit the use of shooting projectiles at teachers during an active-shooter drill.



  1. ^Assembly, Indiana General. “House Bill 1004 – School safety.” Indiana General Assembly, 22 Mar. 2019, (go back  ↩)
  2. ^Herron, Arika. “‘It hurt so bad’: Indiana teachers shot with plastic pellets during active shooter training.” Indianapolis Star, 22 Mar. 2019, (go back  ↩)

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