Schools consider involving students in lockdown defense against intruders
An emergency protocol that instructs students to distract and confront violent intruders likely will go into effect in Western Springs District 101 next school year, school officials say. Other area districts also are considering the plan, which more than 1 million students follow in schools around the country.
A.L.i.C.E. – alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate – departs from standard lockdown procedures that have students hide in a secured room. Created by former police officer Greg Crane of Response Options, a security training firm that consults schools, the plan allows teachers to change their response based on the situation. For example, a teacher whose room is on the opposite end of the school from an armed intruder could decide to evacuate students. If a shooter makes it into a room, the plan suggests that teachers and students distract the shooter by throwing objects like books or chairs.
District 101 Superintendent Brian Barnhart said he anticipates that his district will adopt many elements of the program for next school year. Certified police officers and administrators will train teachers in the program. Students will not have to perform drills for distracting a pseudo-gunman, Barnhart said.
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