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Do you trust your teachers?
If you do then I would imagine that if they told you to do something important you would probably do it, right?
Lets say they tell you to hide and don’t move or make a noise because there is an intruder in your school and we don’t want them to find you. In a high stressed situation you would listen because you trust them to have your best interest at heart.
But what if the intruder comes into your classroom? Are you suppose to move then or keep following the orders your trusted adult gave you?
The students at Sandy Hook Elementary, Littleton Colorado high school, Virginia Tech, and even Cold Spring Minnesota high school were faced with that same ultimatum. Stay put or fight back.
Now your probably thinking well considering my school’s policy is to stay put then I should probably do that. But what if I told you there was a different way for your school to defend itself against and intruder. This crazy theory is called A.L.I.C.E.
Your question now should be what the heck is an A.L.I.C.E. drill and why is it named after a girl from wonderland? Well I am here let you know that first off it has nothing to do with wonderland (but wouldn’t that be cool), and secondly A.L.I.C.E. is an acronym for Alert Lock down Inform Counter Evacuate. In simpler terms this means that instead of hiding and staying quiet well you wait for who knows how long for the cops to come but instead fight back against the intruder.
Yes I did just say fight back.
Do not get freaked out by that because even though the intruder may or may not have a gun, and may or may not be bigger than you statistics have shown that if students would just fight back against there intruders, the total number of deaths from school shootings would go down significantly.
Steps you Take to Practice A.L.I.C.E Drill
First things first, make sure to call the cops and give them any information you have on the intruder. Do this when you are safe and every time you hear something new about the intruder.
If you can find a quick and easy exit outside of the school then great. Just make sure well exiting to stay with your group, if you have one, and to raise your hands and spread your fingers so that the cops don’t think you are the intruder
If you can’t find an exit or way to evacuate the school quickly then barricade your self in a classroom and use desks, cabinets and really anything you can to barricade the door and windows, so that if the intruder tries to go into your classroom and sees the barricade they may be more likely to try and find another classroom because they don’t want to waste time breaking down the barrier.
Okay so now you built the barrier and are hiding yourself in the classroom. Next thing to do is come up with a plan if the intruder does break through the barrier.
Always make sure you have a plan before the intruder comes in and not after.
Being coordinated with the other members in your room can help you take the intruder down with less casualties. The plan could be anything from hiding yourselves until the intruder comes in and then catching them off guard and tackling them, or throwing stuff at the intruder and then fleeing the room and meeting up somewhere else. It does not matter as long as you and your group do something and are not unprepared when the time comes to spring into action.
So your group decides to try and tackle the intruder and disarm them. When your group is successful and the weapon is no longer in the intruders hands you should pick it and use it against him right?
Never use the weapon as a weapon or pick it up and hold it. The reason for this is that first off, you probably have no training to use the weapon what so ever and you could end up hurting someone. And secondly if the cops pick that moment to walk in they will think you are the intruder. That would not be good. Put the weapon in a trash can and leave it in their until the cops come. If you are forced to leave the room because it becomes unsafe then carry the trashcan with you wherever you go.
If you still want more information on what an Alice drill is then take a look at this video. Also Click here to open the A.L.I.C.E. website which will give you more than enough reasons to make this drill apply to your school.
Why it’s Better
To quote Baldr Odinson a writer for New Trajectory “School lock down drills are this generations duck and cover”.
The normal lockdown that most schools use just isn’t enough anymore. The word is evolving and so is school safety. During a two week school period an average of 10 lock downs a day were performed, and only one a day was casualty free.
Guess what type of lock down they were using? I can tell you what they weren’t using, A.L.I.C.E.
The world is evolving and so is school safety. Now I’m not saying that the normal lockdown drills aren’t effective but they just are not as good as the A.L.I.C.E drills. In 1998 Jake Ryker, a student at Thurston High School in Oregon, was sitting in his school cafeteria when a gunmen came into his school and started opening fire. Instead of hiding and being non aggressive towards the attacker he decided to go on the offensive against him. He led a group and took down the gunmen until police officers were able to take him into custody. He did all this even after being shot and wounded. If you want to here more about his story click here.
It may be too late for students from Newton and Sandy Hook but you can still make a difference for the students to come.