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Pine Eagle Charter School Shooting Drill Terrifies Teachers

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A teacher's meeting at an Oregon elementary school was interrupted Friday by two masked men with handguns who began firing at random.

Here's what the teachers didn't know: It was a drill and the men were firing blanks.

Over the past few weeks, Pine Eagle Charter School staff had been trained on how to handle situations involving an active shooter, The Oregonian reported.

Administration then scheduled the surprise drill for a day when school was not in session. No children were present, but teachers were in the building for a meeting.

"I'll tell you, the whole situation was horrible," teacher Morgan Gover told The Oregonian.

The stunt has sparked criticism from community members and outrage from the Internet. Oregonian reader Tommy Phillips commented:

"What happens when the unannounced drill meets a concealed carrier and blows one of these people running the drill away? How many men carry pocket knives and would jump up and stab you in the throat? Not a smart way to run drills, in fact that's just plain stupid!"

Other readers noted that the surprise drill could have been fatal for a teacher with a heart condition.

"It was very stupid and irresponsible not to let the teachers know that it was just a drill," Cheryl Fusselman Ruggles wrote on a Facebook post about the incident. "Now what's going to happen if it happens for real?"

Nevertheless, Principal Cammie DeCastro told The Oregonian that she believes it was a beneficial exercise because it demonstrated just how ill-prepared teachers would be for such an event.

If the situation had been real, she said, only two out of the 15 teachers present would have survived.

A high school in El Paso, Texas pulled a similar stunt in May 2012 -- though this one involved both teachers and students. One freshman told KFox TV that he nearly experienced a full-blown asthma attack during the experience

Last January, a Chicago high school also conducted a school shooting drill, but with one key difference: All students and teachers were informed about the event in advance.

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