WHEATFIELD | The Kankakee Valley School Corp. is enhancing its lockdown policies by incorporating ALiCE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.
After law enforcement teacher Jeff Moolenaar, attended a session on ALiCE at the Indiana School Safety Specialist Academy last spring, "We investigated it further and felt it was important for the safety of our students," said Guy Skrobul, assistant principal at Kankakee Valley High School.
"We both attended training in Cincinnati last June and became certified trainers for our school district. Since that time, we also had our school resource officer, Deputy Eric Kidwell of the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, and a local businessman and County Coroner Dr. Andy Boersma become certified.”
The 'A' in ALiCE stands for Alert. It means getting the word out as quickly as possible using plain language. "The alert could be someone screaming, students running in the hall, the sound of shots being fired, etc.," Moolenaar said. "As soon as any staff member hears of an active shooter situation, they have the power to use the PA system to alert the entire school.”
The 'L' is for Lockdown. “Our policy dictates that all classroom doors are locked at all times," said Kidwell. This provides for the first layer of security.”
'I' is for Inform, getting real-time information out to people. “We can use the PA system, instant messenger, and email to provide updates about the situation,” Moolenaar said.
The 'C' in ALiCE stands for Counter. “These options are used as a last resort, in the event the lockdown is breached,” Skrobul said. “If the violent person is in the room, you have to do whatever is necessary to survive.”
Kidwell added: “Even well-trained officers can miss 80 percent of the shots they take under duress. The bad guy has one plan in mind, and the goal of countering is to make yourself a hard target and interrupt his plan.”
The final letter, 'E,' is for Evacuate. “This is usually the best option,” Moolenaar said. “By using real-time information, teachers and students can make the decision to leave the building. They then run or walk to a predetermined rally point.”
After gaining support of the superintendent, school board, and the Jasper County sheriff, training began for teachers and support staff. "We have also trained all high school students and are training the middle school students,” said Moolenaar.
ALiCE does not have to be completed in order, but is an acronym to help people remember the options. “These are real-life concepts that can be used in the home and when in the community,” stated Boersma. “We want our students and staff to always be aware of their surroundings in order to stay safe.”
“We hope to host certification training in June for schools and businesses in the region,” said Skrobul. “It is important to get the word out and share these concepts with others,” he said.
Direct questions to the trainers at (219) 956-3143 or by visiting www.responseoptions.com.