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Proactive Rather Than Reactive

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Valerie Rosek

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October 11, 2018

In any given crisis, the faculty and students have been given emergency planning by implementing ALICE protocol

ALICE: a five letter word that could mean life or death to District 117’s students and faculty. The new procedure has taken both the staff and student body into a safer environment and calmer mindset.

“So far I feel that it has been introduced to us and done correctly; they’ve shown us what to do when something happens,” science teacher Kyle Francis said. “We’ve actually been able to practice it. I came from a school district where it was implemented, but it was ‘watch these videos’ and that was it. We didn’t practice or do anything else.  I feel we are more prepared this time. We actually have practiced it and have an idea of what to do when if anything happens.”

Each letter in ALICE protocol has a meaningful procedure behind it: alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. Alert: getting the word out that a threat exists by an announcement or other means of communicating the threat. Lockdown is the way of buying time by becoming barricaded in an area. Inform relays what is happening at the exact moment in time about threat location. Counter is if a face-to-face senario happens with the attacker, then students and staff should be distracting the threat by moving, making noise or throwing objects to better survival; the belief is that the attacker’s ability to aim with be decreased. Evacuate: to get out of danger when it is safe to do so any way possible including through doors, windows or whatever means necessary. With the help of ALICE drills, students and staff should feel safer if a threat were to come into the school.

“I feel that if the threatening occasion or event may occur, ALICE will be much safer for all the students and the faculty within the school,” senior Easton Herbon said.

The purpose of ALICE is to give the students and faculty of Antioch Community High School a better chance of survival in  a threatening situation. Over the summer and at the opening institute day, Community High School District 117 administration and staff went through detailed training to learn how ALICE protocol differs from old procedures, which also included showing them how the survival rates differ. Throughout the training, they realized that the new protocol will make students feel safer.

“I definitely feel safer because I have the option to run and escape or throw a textbook at the guy who comes instead of just sit there and be like, ‘oh, that guy has possession of a gun,’” junior Jack Bay said.

The faculty and students of the school can actually attempt to defend themselves in times of need, instead of sitting there allowing something to happen. A poll taken on Instagram by Antioch Community High School students showed 90 percent of students feel safer now with ALICE rather than the old procedures.

“It’s bad to sit in the school,” freshman Cheyanne Matonik said. “If the intruder is on the other side, [then] it is better to just get out of there.”

A new addition is there are more options given then there was before with the old drill. Now everyone involved can at least try to make an escape and minimize their chances of being a victim.

“I feel like with an intruder, I don’t feel safe at all,” senior Lilian Regnier said. “But I’d rather do the Alice drill and feel safer knowing that I can get out of the situation.”

Hiding under desks is not lowering fatality counts; based on the Alice Training Institute, data shows that survival is more likely when using ALICE over the old drills. The point is to protect without endangering, and to be prepared rather than scared.

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Proactive Rather Than Reactive