Editorial: Schools Should Have Monthly A.L.I.C.E. Drills

Benji Keeler, Reporter

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Imagine a parent saying goodbye to their child. They might give them a hug or even a kiss before rushing their precious child off to school without realizing that it’s the last time they will ever say “I love you” to each other. That child never comes home. They were the victim of a school shooting. Too many parents have had to say their last goodbyes as a result of school shootings, such as those at Parkland, Sandy Hook and Columbine. Too many lives have been lost because students were not educated on what to do if they found themselves in these situations.

Schools should implement monthly A.L.I.C.E. drills.

A.L.I.C.E. drills provide a plan and preparation to students and staff in the incident of a school shooting. A.L.I.C.E. stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. According to the A.L.I.C.E. Training Website, Alert is what you do when you have first become aware of the problem, making sure everyone is aware of the threat. Lockdown is an alternative if you are unable to evacuate, barricading yourself in a safe space. Inform is keeping everybody updated on the situation as it happens, so everyone can act accordingly. Counter doesn’t mean fighting, but it is distracting the shooter with the intent of reducing his shooting accuracy. Evacuate is removing yourself from the danger that is currently present.

With A.L.I.C.E. drills in place, students would have a better understanding of what to do if their school was under attack.

2018 had the highest amount of school shootings since 1970. According to Campus Safety Magazine, there were approximately 82 school shootings last year. According to Education Week, these shootings left 114 people dead or injured, and plenty of people traumatized. Of the 114, there were 35 that were killed. 28 of those dead were students.

School shootings aren’t something that are over once the shooting stops. They have an effect that can last forever. On March 25th, 2019, a parent of one of the Sandy Hook victims committed suicide, and two students from Majority Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, also committed suicide. According to The Pacific Standard, one of the students committed suicide due to fear of classrooms and guilt of surviving the shooting when her friend didn’t.

If monthly A.L.I.C.E. drills were put into place at schools, fewer students would fall victim to a school shooter. Monthly fire drills are mandatory, and school fires are very uncommon. A.L.I.C.E. drills aren’t mandatory at many of the schools across the country, and there have been an increasing amount of school shootings over the past decade.

Contact your local representatives, such as, Senators Robert Casey and Pat Toomey, to try and make a change and educate students on what to do if they find themselves in the midst of a school shooting.