by Katrina Frei-Herrmann
As I am sure you have noticed with all of the recent, unique lockdown drills, HB is slowly beginning to implement new safety procedures. Recently, HB’s faculty had a training day, where they learned about one new procedure, called A.L.I.C.E. training. If you were wondering what this was, here is a brief summary:
A.L.I.C.E. is an acronym for:
This procedure was invented in case an active shooter enters the school. In the past, we would hide in the corner of the room, and try to pretend like we weren’t even in the classroom. This training was originally designed in L.A., where drive-by shootings were common, but in other situations, like that of an armed attacker inside of the school, this does not prove effective.
As times have evolved, so has technology, concerns about safety, and gun violence. All of these concern parents greatly because they want to protect their children as much as they can, especially in a place like school, where the children are supposed to feel protected and secure. These new A.L.I.C.E. policies were implemented to encourage students to protect themselves, take action, and evacuate the area as quickly as possible. It is my opinion that A.L.I.C.E is proficient at ensuring that students are safe, while possibly even stopping a shooter from continuing on his or her spree.
I came from a public middle school, Twinsburg, where A.L.I.C.E. training was first implemented in seventh grade. At the time, we were one of the first school to start the training, the guinea pigs. I remember one day we had an assembly, where we were introduced to all of these new ideas and safety procedures. It was slightly overwhelming, and a little scary. The main thought that was running through my head was: how am I going to make a difference?
One of the aspects of this training that really interested me at the time was the fact that I could make a difference, and I could protect myself. In the old methods of lock down, I was expected to sit in a corner and hope that the hypothetical shooter was naïve enough to think that all of the sudden, the entire school would had gone missing…. in my mind, it was not very practical or logical. Using A.L.I.C.E., I am able to barricade the doors, tie it up tight, and throw items at the invader if he or she is close by. If the invader is far, then I have a chance of escaping safely. The possibility of my surviving is a lot higher with A.L.I.C.E.
At Twinsburg, in eighth grade, every lock down started to be practice for A.L.I.C.E., so we could completely barricade our doors and prepare ourselves as if we would have to hurl objects at the invader. I loved the competition of trying to barricade the door the best, and honestly it was a little fun to totally mess up the teacher’s desk and our school desks. In a real situation, it would definitely not be fun, but in the moment, it was almost like a bonding moment, especially for my math class. After one drill, we had about 25 minutes left in the period, and instead of doing math like my teacher planned, we just talked about “what if?” scenarios. My teacher was quite annoyed, but I feel like now I am more calm and prepared if a shooter situation were to ever happen. For example, we decided that if we ever barricaded the doors, but then had a chance to escape, we would do so by using a rope ladder out the window. The next day, my teacher came to class with a rope ladder. It was one of those moments where I remembered how much teachers sacrifice for us and want to take care of us because she used her own money to purchase a ladder.
Of course the chance of a school invasion occurring is incredibly slim, but I am sure Chardon, Glendale, Roseburg, Marysville, Santa Monica, Sandy Hook, etc. ever expected any tragedy at their school. It is an awful thing to even occur in the first place, but unfortunately, it is a harsh reality of the modern day. Hopefully, in the future, fewer incidents like these will occur, but until then, A.L.I.C.E. training will hopefully protect students and facility from some of the harm.