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Code Red drills give way to ALICE protocol

Staff and students learn new approach for intruders

Connor Ramlet, Staff Writer

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April 20th,1999. Columbine High school, Littleton Colorado. 13 dead, 23 wounded. December 14th, 2012. Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown Connecticut. 20 children and six adults, dead. April 20th,1999. Columbine High school, Littleton Colorado. 13 dead, 23 wounded. December 14th, 2012. Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown Connecticut. 20 children and six adults, dead.

There have been 186 shootings on school campuses in the United States since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. With the growing number of school shootings per year, it was almost necessary to implement a new plan for student and teacher safety. Thus, A.L.I.C.E was introduced.

“A.L.I.C.E. is a response program for the unlikely situation that an intruder would enter a school,” said Saint Francis High School Assistant Principal Jill Engquist. “Rather than conducting the typical lock-down, A.L.I.C.E. provides a way to empower our staff and students to use their instincts to defend themselves.”

A.L.I.C.E. provides a sort of freedom for the students if a dangerous situation were to arise. Instead of telling students to hide under a desk or in the corner of the room with the lights off, students are encouraged to use barriers, survival tactics, and even flee the area, if necessary…In essence, the concept of A.L.I.C.E. is easily understood, but how does a student practice their instincts?

“We are doing drills,” said Engquist. “In classrooms, teachers have been directed to have a discussion with the students regarding strategies, and different situations that would come about, if they were put in harm’s way.”

The topic of discussion now is will students be allowed to use objects to create barriers, or have the option to evacuate? “We will see when the time comes,” said Engquist.

Many people have wondered if A.L.I.C.E. is the future of school safety. After all, this is very new to classrooms around the United States.

“Yes, we will never go back to the lock down procedure,” said Engquist. “I was able to take part in training where we had to hide under a table, while the trainer went from classroom to classroom, pounding and blowing an airhorn to signify gunshots. It was an awful scenario and we will ever go back to our students possibly experiencing that.”

A.L.I.C.E. is endorsed by many law enforcement communities, and are trained in the A.L.I.C.E. protection protocol called “Echo Three”. As A.L.I.C.E. is still a new process, Students, Teachers, and Parents across the country, are eager to ensure the safety of their Peers, Students, and Children.

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