Finding What’s Best for Our Children
By Julia Hackett
Dalton teachers get lesson in staying ahead of an active shooter
After the horrifying shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in New Town, Connecticut, schools have been fervently pursuing different ways of ensuring the safety and protection of their students. They've realized that sometimes a lockdown isn't enough to stop a stranger with cruel intentions. That's why researchers have come up with the A.L.I.C.E. program. Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate: the five actions that make up what A.L.I.C.E. means.
The program is very similar to any other program, except that it explains in more detail what children are to do in the case of an attack at their school. A.L.I.C.E. teaches children to shove large objects against the door to barricade, scatter in the case that an intruder enters the room, throw objects at the intruder and escape out a door or window. Lastly, only in the worst case scenario and most likely only taught to older children, students are expected to confront the intruder all at once and wrestle them to the ground.
But the aspect of the counter factor isn't the only important step taken to protect children. Informing the students is just as important, and should be done as soon as possible. Teachers have been discussing ways to communicate with other teachers in a quick, easy manner in the case of a lockdown.
Dalton Local Schools, and other Wayne County schools, will get together to be informed of the A.L.I.C.E. program on February 19. Issues with the program, like teaching kids to attack a gunman or arming teachers in the classrooms are still being considered. But Dalton isn't too worried. As long as they can better the chances of their students survival in the case of a shooting, they're willing to be a part of the program.
Police are also considering their own issues and obstacles. Police are concerned with issues like discerning the difference between an armed gunman and a civilian. Police also can't aid in the escape of students and teachers if they are searching for an armed gunman. Students and teachers should try finding a safe exit from the school themselves so the police can do their job. Despite these concerns, the A.L.I.C.E. program brings schools another step closer to protect their students.
A.L.I.C.E., Preparing Teachers and Staff for a Violent Intruder Event Officer Kelly Crowl, Louisville Police Department