A.L.I.C.E. Emergency Response
Unfortunately, over the past several years, we have seen an increase in school violence and school shootings. As the experts analyze these horrific events, it is apparent that we need to do more, not only taking steps in an attempt to prevent the event from occurring, but also training our students and staff on procedures that we all need to survive an active attack in our schools. The U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and other educational leadership and governmental agencies have recommended that school districts develop a protocol that provides options to students and staff when facing threat or harm from an aggressive intruder. Northeastern School District has adopted a new procedure that we, together with our local first responders and experts across the country, believe will increase the chance of survival during a critical incident. As a result, the district has modified its emergency response in cases of a building-wide event or hostile intruder. Previously, a code RED procedure would put the building into lockdown to address an emergency incident. This single-response practice has been replaced with an options-based approach known as A.L.I.C.E.
A.L.I.C.E. stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. A.L.I.C.E. empowers staff to exercise options in the event of such a critical incident, based on real-time information gathered during the incident. The enhanced protocol does not dictate to staff or students how they should react, but merely provides options for actions in addition to traditional lockdown.
A: ALERT – Get the Word Out! Call the school office or 911 to alert first responders of an emergency. Instead of code words, clear and concise language is used to convey the type of emergency and the specific location of the event.
L: LOCKDOWN – Measures used to secure a classroom, gym, cafeteria, etc. We will continue to lockdown students in secure areas. Locking the door, turning off the lights and remaining quiet are helpful; however, in extreme situations, additional precautions may be needed.
I: INFORM – Ongoing internal and external communication throughout the emergency to inform district-wide personnel and first responders, allowing for good decision-making.
C: COUNTER – Last resort option using distraction and/or swarming measures to interrupt, disrupt or stop a hostile person in the immediate vicinity. Training will provide our staff and secondary students the knowledge that, if faced with a life or death situation, there are methods that can be applied to greatly enhance their chances of survival.
E: EVACUATE – When possible, get out of the building as quickly and safely as possible. Each building will have a process to evacuate and account for students during reunification.