A.L.I.C.E. Training Teaches Students and Staff New Methods to Protect Themselves in Crisis Drills

Mr. Lombardo’s class used a lot of classroom objects to barricade their door.

Emma Passey, Editor-in-Chief

Over the last few weeks, students at Cinnaminson High School were introduced to a new type of crisis drill that is called the A.L.I.C.E. drill.  This drill’s name stands for “Alert. Lockdown. Inform. Counter. Evacuate.” These words are the order of the steps people should take that is a new procedure enacting a more proactive approach to an active shooter in the building.

The A in the ALICE acronym stands for “Alert”, which is the school’s first notification of danger. The drill was rehearsed so that the announcement will entail the details of the shooter’s appearance, and also the location of the shooter if it is known to the office staff.

The next step is “Lockdown”, in which students and faculty are instructed to barricade any entry points into the room, so that the shooter’s entry into the room will be delayed if not completely preventable. The maintenance department is working on a hook that teachers can attach to the door that makes it unable to be opened from the outside.

The school’s main office is responsible for the “Inform” portion of the procedure, in which they will update the building as to where a shooter is and where that shooter is predictably going. If the shooter gets into a classroom, students and teachers should “Counter” the shooter’s entry and create as much noise and chaos as possible so that the shooter gets distracted and is unable to shoot at his target accurately, which has been proven to save lives.

However, the ultimate goal of the drill is to “Evacuate” if at all possible, and get as far away from the school as one can, once evacuated.

The drill was met with a large amount of support from both students and faculty, because of the newly proactive approach the school is taking toward lockdown drills.

DECA advisor Mr. Repece recalls that he “thought the barricade drill was important. We are prepared, and it is a good drill to make sure we know how to protect ourselves.”

Similarly, junior Blair Schuler felt that “[the drill] was much more effective than our last drill. It makes [her] feel safe”.

However, with the support also came a large degree of skepticism from a large percentage of students. Students claimed that the idea of “throwing textbooks at a person with a gun” was nothing short of insensible, because some believe that the textbook has nothing on a lethal weapon.

Junior Nick Hanni expressed his skepticism by explaining that “the ALICE drill was not necessarily a good thing when it came to certain classrooms because they couldn’t really barricade; there wasn’t enough furniture to barricade the door so it left a lot of people defenseless.”

According to sources, students will allegedly practice the ALICE drill sporadically throughout the rest of the school year, until it runs more efficiently and the school’s administration works out the flaws that they can fix just in case Cinnaminson High School  is faced with an active shooter situation.