March 22 (UPI) -- Elementary teachers were shot with plastic projectiles by the local sheriff's office during an active-shooter training exercise, the Indiana State Teachers Association said.
The union said four teachers at a time were taken into a room and told to crouch on the ground while they were "shot execution-style" with plastic projectiles.
"The teachers were terrified, but were told not to tell anyone what happened," ISTA said on Twitter. "Teachers waiting outside that heard the screaming were brought into the room four at a time and the shooting process was repeated."
Teachers sustained injuries, the union said.
"Welts appeared, and blood was drawn," it said.
The teachers were terrified, but were told not to tell anyone what happened. Teachers waiting outside that heard the screaming were brought into the room four at a time and the shooting process was repeated.— Indiana State Teachers Association (@ISTAmembers) March 20, 2019
White County Sheriff Bill Brooks said the teachers were receiving ALICE training, which encourages students and teachers to be proactive during a school shooting, the IndyStar reported.
ALICE is an acronym for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuation.
Brooks said that an air-soft gun was used during the training. His department has since discontinued using the air-soft gun, he said, after having received a complaint.
His department has conducted ALICE training for years at several schools, but couldn't say how many times teachers had been shot with pellets.
"They all knew they could be [shot]," he said. "It's a shooting exercise."
While the incident occurred in January at Twin Lake District's Meadowlawn Elementary School it was only learned of this week during testimony before state lawmakers.
The teachers association brought the incident to the attention of lawmakers in order to amend House Bill 1004 to prevent teachers from being shot during mandated active-shooter drills.
According to the bill, an active-shooter drill must be performed each semester.
The Twin Lakes School Corporation said in a statement that it works with the White County Sheriff's Department to train the teachers in ALICE.
It said that following teachers with the union having "voiced questions" about how the training is conducted, it arranged a meeting between the union and the sheriff's department "to collaboratively discuss these matters."
House Bill 1104 author and Republican legislator Wednesday McNamara said it has already passed the House and hopes the Senate can amend it to such exercises from happening again.
"I would never have thought in a million years that anybody would have thought that it made sense to use in an active-shooter drill where teachers are unaware that they're going to be shot with a pellet gun," she told CNN. "That would have never crossed my mind as something we'd need to legislate."
However, Brooks thinks the amendment is unnecessary.
"We don't need legislation in White County," he said. "We're just not going to do it."
The Senate Education Committee will consider amendments to the bill next week.