ALICE training program prepares students for intruders

Lindsay Clarke, Community Editor

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55 million students are enrolled in 120,000 primary and secondary public schools throughout the U.S according to NIJ.gov and in 2018 alone there were 23 school shootings where someone was either injured or killed. To ensure the safety of every student, schools have increased their awareness to mitigate potentially dangerous situations. With the high demand of increased school safety from students, parents, and faculty, Baltimore County Public Schools has been trained in the Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate (ALICE) training institute.
This program is the number one active shooter civilian response training for all organizations according to alicetraining.com. The faculty has been trained online as well as a computed face-to-face training with Vice Principal William Brown, who thinks the plan is very realistic and more practical than previous plans.
“The new plan is more option based and that is the spirit of ALICE. Instead of having a traditional lockdown where you just sit in a room and hide behind a door, ALICE wants to empower occupants to take action to what they think is necessary,” Assistant Principal William Brown said.
Then new plan encourages the occupants to either hide in their classrooms or evacuate based on where the threat is in the building. This decreases the amount of people that could be in danger because there are more options of what to do.
“I think it is extremely beneficial to Hereford because of our enrichment hour and having a bulk of students in two areas. It gives us that option of evacuation if there is a threat because we now have a better lockdown procedure,” Officer Richard Croft said.
Since the circumstantial and operational situations vary, the ALICE program allows students and faculty to have more options and in result feel safer in their classrooms.
“I think the biggest thing that influenced the change in safety protocol is the major school safety threats that occurred last school year,” Jake Turner (’19) said. “I think it is a good idea especially with the division of school. I would like to have more options of ways to act in those type of situations.”
The ALICE training organization has over 1,000,000 individuals trained in all 50 states. They train Police, K-12 schools, healthcare, universities, businesses, government agencies, and churches.
“When Mr. Brown presented this plan with Officer Croft to the faculty there were a lot of questions but they all embraced it and thought it was a great idea,” Principal Joe Jira said.
The ALICE program provides tactical skills to combat a threat in the school and keep as many students safe as possible. With the rise of school threats across the country schools have prioritized there safety plans to create a positive environment for students.
“ALICE is a positive step in the right direction…we can be active in our own safety rather than being passive,” Agriscience Teacher Christopher Davis said.

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