- The Washington Times - Monday, March 12, 2018

Teachers at a Prince George’s County school were blindsided last week by being shown unawares graphic footage of the Columbine High School shooting massacre.

The lockdown-training session took place Friday at Laurel High School, according to a Monday report on TV station WRC-4 in Washington.

The session prompted several teachers, speaking to the NBC affiliate on condition of anonymity, to complain to their bosses, prompting a letter of apology.

“The assailants were taunting the kids to get the kids to get up and run, and when the kids ran away, the assailants were shooting them,” a teacher described the video, which was shown less than a month after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida left 17 dead.

In the Columbine massacre, two gunmen killed 12 other students and a teacher before killing themselves.

A teacher said: “There were faculty members that got up and left in the middle of the video showing because they were crying. It was so, so upsetting.”

According to WRC, the video was created by the school’s security team but the teachers were not told what they’d be watching beforehand.

“If you’re going to do this and you want to do this properly, you say, ‘We are going to show you this. If you do not feel comfortable with this, you are welcome to leave,’” a teacher told Channel 4.

After some internal blowback, Principal Dwayne Jones sent a note to the school faculty apologizing “to anyone who felt unnerved, distraught, disturbed or bothered.”

“It was not our aim to upset or intimidate anyone, especially with the graphic video from the Columbine High School mass shooting. However, the goal was to hopefully get everyone in the mindset that situations like Columbine and other school shootings are prevalent and relevant in our society today and that the safety of all should be the number one goal for all of us,” he said.

Prince George’s County Public Schools spokesman John White acknowledged to WRC that Laurel faculty had varying reactions, but added that the P.G. County district may show it to staff at other schools.

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