The term “A.L.I.C.E” has become a worldwide phenomenon as the No. 1 active shooter civilian response training for all organizations. Many schools and businesses have adopted this acronym, which stands for stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate, in efforts to fight back against an active shooter in contrast to the old way, sitting in a corner in the dark, waiting.
This relatively new way of responding to school shooters has evolved into something that has become an anomaly, “training over a million individuals, 4,200 k-12 schools and 3,055 businesses,” according to alicetraining.org.
Just a decade ago, teachers were instructed to lock doors, turn out lights and gather students to the farthest corner. Schools were able to get away with this because school shootings weren’t a reoccurring thing like they are today.
With an unfortunate rise in school shooters, A.L.I.C.E has served as a saving grace to many organizations in the event of an active intruder. I think that this is a step in the right direction with handling this kind of situation, but I think more can be done with the guns’ rights side of the equation.
“I like that the first response is always to evacuate if possible. That is the most real thing that people will do in a situation such as this, and recognizing that reinforces the legitimacy of the plan,” Principle, Trond Smith said.
People all around the world are recognizing that this is a problem in today’s society and are doing something about it. A.L.I.C.E is that something.
“All the [old] strategy does is make people sitting ducks. Obviously, we want anyone who can do it safely and away from danger to clear the area. If danger is close by, however, understanding the importance of the barricade, as well as looking for any kind of weapon or object to counter an intruder, will significantly cut down on injuries or loss of life,” Smith said.
With 18 school shootings this year alone, and almost 300 since 2013 (according to a gun safety non-profit Everytown) are students prepared to protect themselves in dangerous situations?
Each year, students are taught to barricade doorways and throw books at intruders, but is it enough to keep us safe? With no exit plans and drills occuring, students at Orange High School are less prepared than ever for an active shooter scenario.
Although it is something students and staff would never wish to happen, school shootings have become a reality in today’s world. Now more than ever, those students must be prepared for what could happen, they should know how to keep themselves and their classmates safe.
Although A.L.I.C.E (a training scenario for active school shooters) is practiced at Orange, students are told to block doorways and throw our books at active shooters, yet they are not taught how to escape from their classrooms in the wake of an active shooter.
Instead of teaching students to block classroom doorways and hiding in corners, the reality of school shootings should become a topic of conversation between students and faculty. By talking about the possibility of what can happen, students can better prepare for dangerous scenarios by coming up with escape plans, meeting spots and better know-how to protect themselves and their classmates.
As technology improves, schools are becoming safer by the day. Certain schools can be monitered by local police stations.
By creating plans, creating relationships with local law enforcement and having tough conversations, students can practice and implement new ideas established to create a safer school environment.