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Preparing for a possible threat
District-wide training with the ALICE program
June 12, 2018
Get out, get away, get together: the new motto of procedure if there is a threat in the school.
On May 16, students and teachers in each classroom learned and practiced new procedures for live threats.
Teachers who have been trained in March with the ALICE program, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, spent the whole day working with high school students on where to go, what to do and how to react.ALICE was the first training program in the country that provided staff and students with an option-based response to an active shooter gaining entry into a school, a business or any organization according to its website.
Principal Jeffery Trapp announced ALICE is going to be the new protocol for emergency situations and that there would be a day of lessons where every block each teacher would go over what the protocol will look like in the classroom.
Ever since the district joined the ALICE program through Washtenaw County, teachers have been assigned to learn how they are to respond in specific situations such as the threat being in the classroom, in the hallway or outside of the building.
After a threat of gun violence made in February of 2018, a teacher-formed committee went to the school board and discussed future plans to replace the old procedure with something more new and effective.English teacher Pam Gower talked about how she felt having to teach her students the new drill.
“At first, thinking about it was upsetting because I just don’t want to live in a world where we have to worry about that,” Gower said. “But then what I realized is that what I was most upset about was my fear and concerns about what I would do. And then, after I went through the training, as a teacher and then worked with students, I actually felt better because I felt like I was arming them with knowledge of what they could do if it were to happen in our school.”
Students K-12 all got the chance to learn an overview of ALICE basics, learning the ALICE acronym and participating in group discussions on specific situations. Lessons took place on May 16 for the junior/senior high students.On May 18, the district wide drill for K-12 students were taught specific scenarios and how everyone should respond.
Senior Alexis Hansen, who thought the drill was meaningful, liked the fact everyone got that opportunity go over a scenario.
“I liked that it was going over plans to make sure everybody knew what to do, when to do it and how to do it,” Hansen said. “It wasn’t interactive, but it was still good to practice.”
The quick drill did disappoint some participants like junior Colin Bradley who thought the drill could have been more physical.
“We didn’t even close the doors or act like it was actually happening; we just talked about it like we did two days before,” Bradley said. “We could have actually had someone actually going through the halls and have us act out what we would do for muscle memory.”