History of ALICE training at RHS

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Brookyln Luscomb

Senior Dezeray Meyers practices barricading the door in preparation for future ALICE drills.

ALICE is an acronym for a program created to reduce injuries during violent critical incidents and to create a more active response to active shooters; the A stands for alert, the L stands for lockdown, the I stands for inform, the C stands for counter, and the E stands for evacuate.
“When facing extreme violence, a passive lockdown-only response may not always keep us safe. In fact, it’s no longer the preferred response of federal and state agencies,” alicetraining.com wrote.
Before Roosevelt began practicing the ALICE program, they had a much different, district wide plan in place.
“We had an emergency plan the district put together and there were some actions we were supposed to do, but we didn’t go over any kind of drills or anything. It was more or less saying what we needed to worry about, and we never really practiced them, talked about them, or revisited them in the time that plan was here,” certified ALICE trainer, social studies teacher. Jason Krajewski said.
After the Parkland, Florida school shooting in 2018, Wyandotte Public Schools decided there was a need for change in our procedure in case of a violent intruder, soKrajewski and math teacher Steve Durant became the certified ALICE trainers for Roosevelt.
“ALICE is a national organization, and its aim is to bring everybody together. ALICE modifies the way we respond to this violence so everybody can be on the same page nationwide,” Krajewski said.
In the ALICE program, it is equal responsibility for students and teachers to know the procedure. This ensures that no matter what classroom or building a student is in, they know how to keep themselves and others safe.
“The teacher’s role is to make sure the students know what they’re doing, and to be the leader in the classroom,” Krajewski said. “But the students also need to know what to do. If something happens and there’s an active threat in the gym area, students in A building need to understand that their first priority is to evacuate.”
The diversity and knowledge learned in the ALICE program is what leads it to be so effective in dangerous situations.
“The thing that’s great about ALICE is that everyone knows exactly what to do if the teacher isn’t there or if something happens to the teacher, then the students know what to do,” Krajewski said.
Despite the benefits of the ALICE program, Roosevelt has not had a hands-on ALICE drill since the 2019-2020 school year.
“As a school trainer, I would hope that we would do it every year at the beginning of the year. I think the district put out a letter that stated we haven’t done one because of COVID, and it was just put on the back burner. I don’t want to push it off, but I don’t want to say it’s anyone’s fault,” Krajewski said.
However, one student at Roosevelt, senior Weston Bridges, thinks ALICE needs to be practiced again with all students in Roosevelt.
“I think doing it in person was really helpful because I’m a hands-on learner and I think a lot of other people are too,” Bridges said. “To me it’s just like football. If you want to know what to do and be able to do it right, you have to practice over and over again.”
According to alicetraining.com, it is significantly more beneficial to do a blend of learning the steps through the presentation, and practicing the procedure in person. Practicing hands-on is a process of going through all the ALICE steps in the classroom the same way you would if there was an immediate threat in the building.
“In my class, we started by going over a presentation of what to do and what ALICE was, then we actually did the steps and stacked all the desks and chairs on the door, and everyone had a book in their hand ready to throw,” Bridges said. “To make it more realistic, I pretended to be the shooter, so people pretended to throw things at me to defend themselves.”
Because this hands-on training was done two school years ago, none of the class of 2024 or 2025 has participated in a hands-on ALICE training at Roosevelt.
“I think we need to do it again just as a refresher, so we remember everything we need to do. I also think it’s important that the freshmen and sophomores practice it because they never have before and thats a big portion of the kids at Roosevelt,” Bridges said.
According to Mr. Krajewski, there is a hands-on ALICE training planned for this school year at Roosevelt, but a date has not been set.