ALICE Training Helps Schools Fight Back

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By: Kaitlin Christ

It was just another day at school. As Jim drifted off in his chem class he, heard a loud bang. Jim assumes that some people have just slammed their lockers shut, or someone dropped their textbook. Before he knew it, teachers were being notified to lockdown all classrooms and to stay wherever they are. The class learned quickly that an intruder has entered the building. Students and staff will have to wait to see what happens next rather than fighting back. Jim wished there was something he could do.

According to research done at Harvard University and Northeastern University, since 201, the rate of mass shootings has tripled.

Because there is a higher chance of a school shooting occurring, schools should implement ALICE training to help students and staff be more defendant in case of a school shooting.

Since 2013, 142 school shootings have taken place in the United States. On average, that is close to one every week.

ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate. The acronym isn’t supposed to be sequential, but a list of options that could be used if in danger from an intruder. Because of this, Greg Crane, a law enforcement officer, developed the program after the Columbine High School massacre in April of 1999 to help keep his wife, an elementary school teacher safe.

Prior to ALICE, a majority of schools would just lockdown in classrooms, turn off the lights, huddle in a corner, and await the police during an active shooter scenario. ALICE is designed to give school students and staff a chance to be proactive, rather than reactive.

Now students have more of a role thanks to ALICE training.

As students, it’s important that we are independent and fight back to make sure that the past doesn’t repeat itself. The Columbine High School shooting consisted of 13 student deaths. Taking action would help to avoid statistics like that. At Columbine, all the school did was simply lock down and hide. If schools keep going by the lockdown method, then nothing will change. It’s time for schools to realize that doing absolutely nothing will not help anyone or anything when lives are on the line.       

Go to a principal or staff member and show them the positive testimonials of what other schools around the United States thought of ALICE training. Suggest that the staff goes through ALICE training to be educated, but also learn how to protect. Show them the statistics of how often school shootings really do happen. If this action is taken, then one more school will have a plan for the worst case scenario.