A.L.I.C.E. Training Offers Schools Options - WCMH: News, Weather, and Sports for Columbus, Ohio

A.L.I.C.E. Training Offers Schools Options

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GAHANNA, Ohio -

School safety has been a top priority since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

Districts are now re-evaluating their emergency procedures, and some local schools are using a program that goes against the traditional response.

The Gahanna Police Department has been training teachers and students the program called A.L.I.C.E. for five years.

A.L.I.C.E. stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. Police said the method is helping give teachers options when confronted with an active shooter.

During A.L.I.C.E. practice drills, everyone has a role to play, and the days of locking down a classroom and waiting for help are gone.

"It empowers the teachers to make the appropriate decision based on what is happening. How close is the threat, what type of threat it is. And permits them to be decision makers," said Lt. Dan Williams, of Gahanna police.

A.L.I.C.E. teaches students and teachers to be defensive and proactive once they know that a shooter is in the building.

Some of the techniques they can use include barricading classroom doors, throwing objects at a shooter if they enter a room, and how to leave the building if possible.

Williams said they have taught the program in every school building, to students of all ages.

"We have gone classroom to classroom, and given individual teachers, allow them to ask questions and make recommendations for the room as far as setting up the room, to give them the best chance of … escaping from the room," Williams said.

But not everyone is a fan of A.L.I.C.E. Some said they feel it puts students in danger by having them confront the shooter.

Kevin Deckop is the resource officer for New Albany-Plain Local School District.

He completed the training last year and said he understands the concerns that parents might have.

"We are not teaching them to run down a hallway and go after them. We are teaching them to get themselves to a safe point. Whether it's attacking them at that point by throwing staplers or throwing chairs or desks or anything to knock them out, to get them out of commission, to cause them to not aim at them, and then get themselves out of that building," Deckop said.

Williams said that over the years, they have had nothing but positive feedback from students and parents.

He said students say they feel empowered because they have some control over a life and death situation.

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