Opinion: ALICE encourages students to make decisions

Jackie Stoller

ALICE, the new safety protocol, provides students with independence and options if the unexpected happens. The new system encourages students to make quick decisions and react based on the situation. It gives students the responsibility that they deserve.

Under the previous lockdown system, students were required to sit in a dark room to hide from an intruder. Lockdown is sometimes a good option, which is why ALICE has the L for lockdown. If the time and situation is right for a lockdown, then students can do so. However, not only does the new system allow for lockdown, it encourages people to run if possible. ALICE is a balance between lockdown and evacuation.

If the intruder gets into the room, a group of students sitting is an easy target. The shooter could easily shoot at the clump of students, injuring or killing them all very quickly. A moving target is much harder to catch. Also, in the old lockdown system, teachers were required to put a green piece of paper outside the room to indicate that all the students were present and safe. If the intruder saw a green piece of paper indicating all of the students were in there, the intruder would target that classroom. With ALICE, students have the option to sit in the room if they want, or to leave.

ALICE is centered around the idea that if one wants to leave, he or she can do so right away. If they want to stay in the room, the students and teachers can barricade the door with as many heavy objects as possible before hiding. The lockdown part is now much more active and realistic. If someone did get through the barricade and into the room, the students have the freedom to throw books and other heavy objects at the intruder. If I was in a situation like this, I definitely wouldn’t just let it happen; I would take a stand. ALICE takes this instance into consideration. It prepares for fighting back (with the barricade, throwing books etc.), and encourages students to protect themselves.

The last part of ALICE is the most important step: evacuation. This is biggest difference from the lockdown. The faculty and police department’s goal is to protect as many students as possible. If the students can get safely to a door, then that would be the ideal situation. But, if that is blocked off, breaking a window would be the next best option. Once students do get out, the police department will have set up three meeting spots to flee to that will have officers there to help. If for some reason people can’t get to those spots, the goal is to get as far away as possible from the school.

ALICE is a very good system that should be used at WHS because it gives the students the responsibility that they deserve.

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.