Tuesday, 13 November 2012
This is the name of the program that is gaining momentum and maybe even heading to a school near you. ALICE training, founded by a former SWAT officer, has already been implemented in 300 schools. It is meant to teach kids how to fight back against a gunman.
The most controversial aspect of this training is "C" - Counter. This step, normally only taught to the older students (as well as teachers), involves, as a last resort, physical distraction, diversion, and attempts to overwhelm a shooter using numbers alone. Students are instructed to keep moving, make noise, and throw things. They are taught to never simply duck and cover during a shooting.
The usual lockdown method is not effective or smart in my opinion. The doors are locked, the lights are turned off, and the children are herded into a corner of the room. In the words of my military husband, "it creates a death trap." No one likes the idea of children having to overwhelm a shooter - but if the only other option is that they sit like ducks waiting for their execution? Neither option is good. Neither option is something we want to think about. But I would rather that my kids - and yours - had a fighting chance. The program has already been credited with saving lives in an Ohio high school cafeteria shooting earlier this year. It is not without controversy, however, as some critics state, "as soon as a student is shot obeying ALICE standards, parents are going to ask who taught them to do that?"
What do you think of the ALICE program? Have you heard of it? Do you have any experience with it?