By Renee Martin
ALICE training is a new active shooter response program which requires action from teachers in the case of the presence of a person with a weapon at a school. Teachers had to go in for a training on the morning of May 1st, but exactly what they did is not so easy to dig up. With a little questioning from administrators, teachers, and our school police officer, Renee Tobler, the answers are available.
The five letter acronym stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. On the official ALICE training website, it says, “The purpose of ALICE training is to prepare individuals to handle the threat of an Active Shooter. ALICE teaches individuals to participate in their own survival, while leading others to safety. Though no one can guarantee success in this type of situation, this new set of skills will greatly increase the odds of survival should anyone face this form of disaster.”
Upon being interviewed about what ALICE training is, Renee Tobler said,”ALICE is a new training system with more options to survive. I support it because there are a lot of times when there’s a better response than being a sitting duck.”
She also commented about the C in ALICE which stands for Counter. “Counter is a last resort and it’s not one-on-one. Counter could be students throwing textbooks at the shooter.”
When asked about ALICE training, Cassandra Kamins, North’s principal said, “the teachers felt empowered” and that she can’t talk much about it because there’s no district policy about what can be said to students.
On May 1st, a day with no school, teachers came to school and participated in the training which involved role playing of what would have to happen if there was a shooter in the building. The C in ALICE stands for Counter and that’s exactly what the teacher did. They countered the “shooter” who was role-played by a member of the Eugene Police Department. The teachers were then told how to attack the shooter, but without harming the officer.
Aaron Schermerhorn, social studies teacher, said, “I really appreciated the administrators and police officers. I don’t understand why haven’t been able to inform the students.”
He also commented that becoming a victim is unacceptable and that it’s best to be prepared.
Rich Diaz, social studies teacher didn’t want to comment because he said he doesn’t want to say something that could get him in trouble.
There is no district policy on whether or not this training is actually going to be implemented into schools. So, either the old procedure is going to be thrown out and the new procedure will be adopted or a day was spent training teachers how to attack an armed shooter.
An issue has risen recently because of this new training not having a district policy and the students not knowing about it. There could be a dangerous situation before the end of the year and the issue is whether or not the teachers would use the new confrontational training or the old “sitting duck” policy. There was a recent gun threat at North and with that threat comes with a potential armed shooter attack at North. With the new policy not approved by the district, what happens if there’s an armed shooter before the policy is passed?