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Oregon teacher sues school officials over PTSD caused by surprise ‘active shooter’ drill

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An elementary school teacher in Halfway, Oregon filed a federal lawsuit against local school district officials saying she was traumatized by a surprise drill simulating a school shooting, the Portland Oregonian reported.

The suit stated that the “active shooter” drill — held four months after the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut — left 56-year-old Michelle McLean “extremely shaken, confused and mentally, physically and emotionally ill. She could not shake the event but continued to relive it and try to make sense of it, but could not. Ms. McLean could not sleep, and remained anxious and vigilant. When she drifted off to sleep, she experienced nightmares and sweating.”

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According to the lawsuit, McLean and other staffers at Pine Eagle School District No. 61 were kept in the dark about the drill. But district officials did notify local law enforcement and emergency dispatchers, ensuring that they would not respond to any calls for help from the school.

Pine Eagle principal and school board member John Minarich and the district’s security officer, Shawn Thatcher, are accused of storming into several classrooms while carrying firearms loaded with blanks during the drill. The lawsuit stated that Thatcher entered McLean’s classroom clad in “a black hoodie and goggles,” pointed his weapon at her head and pulled the trigger.

The man identified as Thatcher then told her, “you’re dead,” before exiting the classroom. According to the complaint, she wondered if she had really been shot.

“McLean could not figure out what was going on,” the suit stated. “She felt very confused. Her heart was racing. She walked out of the classroom and saw a pistol lying on the ground.”

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Minarich is also identified in the lawsuit as one of the owners of Alpine Alarm, which installed the school’s security system. His company is also listed as a defendant in the suit, along with two school administrators and seven members of the Pine Eagle school board.

The suit stated that a psychologist diagnosed McLean with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after she tried to return to work on the Monday following the drill.

“On the advice of her treating psychologist, Ms. McLean tried to return to the school building as part of a desensitization therapy,” the complaint said. “However, when she returned she was short of breath, anxious, emotionally distressed, and had to leave. She has not returned to the school building since.”

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McLean is seeking compensation covering not only her medical and psychological treatment, the suit stated, but “involuntary separation from employment” that left her unable to collect on retirement contributions.


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Democrats’ refusal to impeach Trump is a ‘bigger national scandal’ than him breaking the law: Ocasio-Cortez

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., criticized House Democrats on Saturday for their unwillingness to impeach President Donald Trump despite new revelations that he may have pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on one of his potential Democratic rivals in 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden.

This article first appeared in Salon.

"At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior - it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday night.

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‘Should we talk about Ivanka?’: MSNBC guest calls for Trump family investigation if Biden’s son is scrutinized

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During a panel discussion on Donald Trump's call for an investigation of Joe Biden's son Hunter over his Ukraine dealings, an "AM Joy" guest said if Congress is going to investigate politician's kids why not start with Ivanka Trump and her brothers Don Jr. and Eric.

Speaking with MSNBC host Joy Reid, Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan called out President Donald Trump for his "brazenness" going after the former vice president's son.

"There's so much to say about this story, as for the Ukrainian denials, what are they going to do, come out and say, 'Yes, Donald Trump did pressure our president eight times in a single phone call'? It's absurd." Hasan began.

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Tapper smacks Mnuchin with Trump kids’ international business deals after attack on Biden son

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In a fairly contentious interview with Steve Mnuchin, CNN host Jake Tapper pointed out how Donald Trump's children -- Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric -- have been using their father's name to swing international deals after the Treasury secretary accused former Vice President Joe Biden's son of doing the same.

Mnuchin first dismissed reporting by the Washington Post and the conservative Wall Street Journal that Donald Trump was withholding Ukraine funding in an effort to get dirt on Biden and his son -- saying neither newspaper could be trusted -- he then complained to the CNN host about having to spend seven and a half minutes talking about Trump's Ukraine scandal.

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