Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It CAN Happen Here: Oregon Teachers Traumatized by Unannounced Shooter Drill

I could not believe it when I read this item in the Eugene, Oregon Register Guard. Alex Jones Infowars picked up the story:
 Oregon Teachers Traumatized by Unannounced Shooter Drill Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!: Panic erupted on Friday at Pine Eagle Charter school in rural Oregon when two masked men carrying handguns burst into a teachers’ lounge and opened fire.

After the initial chaos, the terrified teachers realized the guns were firing blanks and that they were the subject of an unannounced shooter drill.

The little school in Halfway, Oregon was having an in-service day, so the children were at home at the time of the drill. The terrifying action has drawn criticism from many but Principal Cammie DeCastro has defended it, saying, ”For us not to know how we were going to respond is leaving us open”.

Much is strange about this! Why in such a small, out of the way school in rural Oregon? Whose idea, at the top, was this? What if one or more staff members were armed -- concealed weapons carrier, for example --  and opened fire in defense?  What if someone had a heart attack or some other medical emergency response to the drill? Do "they" know something (predictive programming?) about this school and area others don't? Are "they" planning something?

Yes, they succeeded in planting those oily ugly seeds of paranoia within us. Plans are being considered for "volunteer" community members to "watch over the school in shifts" and "arm teachers":
The district’s Safety Committee and the School Board now will critically evaluate policies and procedures and decide what to do next, said DeCastro.

Armed teachers is one possible outcome, she said. Or the district may get armed and trained volunteers from the community to watch over the school in shifts, she said. Tougher doors and better locks are other options.
The article ends with this confusing sentence:
Had one of the teachers in that lounge already taken the time to prepare, the unannounced drill could have had tragic results.
Wait. If at least one of the teachers had been prepared, the drill would have had "tragic results?" Is there a typo, am I missing something, or is this intentionally confusing?

Clues in Location?
Returning to the location of the school: Halfway,  in the Wallowa Mountains in Eastern Oregon, has a population of 288. Halfway's history is interesting, as reported by, which has a slightly fleshier article that's bascially the same as the abridged version on Infowars:
Halfway, population 288, is the eastern Oregon ranching town that became world-famous 13 years ago as the globe's first "Internet city." The city council changed Halfway's name to in return for $73,000 from a Philadelphia-based Internet bazaar of the same name that sold books, CDs, movies and the like on-line at half price.
The town got its old name back a year later when the on-line bazaar was sold to eBay. Now Halfway is back in the real world, where people sometimes enter schools and open fire.
 Is Halfway "owned" by eBay, or a company in Philadelphia?

The OregonLIve article quotes a Ms. Gover, one of the teachers:
"We are so remote," Gover said, "we are going to have to take care of ourselves."

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