The Devil's Advocate

ALICE Training Comes to LHS

Madison Duffey

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No one wants to see the day when a school intruder threatens the school. But the days of shelter in place during a school shooting are over.

On Wednesday March 1, 2017, Leominster High School presented the new self defense program known as ALICE to students in the auditorium. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.

In the past, if there was an intruder, students were told to lock themselves into a classroom and hide in the corner. But studies have shown that this makes students sitting ducks.

ALICE is a more aggressive approach designed to encourage students to evacuate the school to a designated safe spot when possible.

If the threat is nearby, only then should students go into lockdown, but they should prepare counter measures to defend themselves. Rather than cowering in a corner, students and faculty are to use their quick thinking skills to fight back and prohibit a shooter from taking any lives.

Although the assembly was informative and had a description of how students and faculty should act during a situation, there were still some unanswered questions and concerns from students.

A major concern for many was what to do if you were in the cafeteria at the time, since there are a lot of windows and a limited amount of things to throw and there are so many students crowded in there.

“It is a failed attempt at trying to protect a school. Throwing every item you see isn’t a good strategy,” said senior Zackerie Camire.

Zackerie did agree however, that it is an improvement from Code I, but “there’s so much more” the school can do to protect students.

Lately, faculty members have been stricter when it comes to locking doors, patrolling the halls and monitoring doors into the school. There are only two entrances that should be open in the mornings, the flag pole entrance for bus riders and the main entrance for the car riders. In past years, this has not been upheld which could have been a potential risk to student safety.

Another senior, Emily Patella, thinks ALICE is “more efficient” but was concerned with the evacuation aspect. She felt that “they did not exactly talk about what you would do after the fact.”

ALICE “is obviously more complex, in the old one we never really talked about how we would evacuate the school,” Emily continued.

Zackerie also questioned “what do students do when there’s not a classroom directly there?”

At the assembly this was briefly addressed, students were told to go into the closest classroom, but in some areas of the school there is not always a classroom right next to you in the hallway.

The concern is that students will get locked out and will be in the open with no protection from the threat.

Overall students felt ALICE was a step up from Code I however there is still room for improvement. “I feel like it’s so new, they have to [be able to improve], but they’ve got the basics,” said Emily.

Teachers went through ALICE training at the beginning of the school year.

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ALICE Training Comes to LHS