Education majors learn A.L.I.C.E. training basics

Ashley Gerenday

As the tragedies of school shootings hit closer to home, many schools look to the Alert, Lockdown, Information, Counter and Evacuation program, also know as A.L.I.C.E., to teach educators how to handle the possibility of a gunmen in the classroom.

The A.L.I.C.E. program was a requirement for a group of education majors at Kent State.

“There’s some rule that states that basically all the student teachers have to have this kind of training,” said Jeff Belcik, senior integrated language arts major.

Belcik said he received A.L.I.C.E. training as part of a weeklong program that focused on safety training for different situations. The A.L.I.C.E. program was a chance to improve the safety of his classroom, he said.

“If something ever happened like that type of situation, you’d have a better chance of getting everyone out without being hurt,” Belcik said.

Kent State Police Lt. Joe Hendry said the A.L.I.C.E. program makes more sense than the lockdown procedure, which is the commonly taught safety procedure to use in the event of a shooter situation.

“We teach people not to lay on the ground and get shot,” Hendry said.

Hendry said that the lockdown procedure, where students are told to lay on the ground if a gunman is on the loose, is ineffective.

“It didn’t make any sense for people to lay on the ground when a gunmen was in the room,” Hendry said.

The lockdown procedure, Hendry said, was never intended to be used when there was an active shooter.

Belcik said they were taught how to fight off or distract a shooter, instead of hiding and staying in a lockdown position.

“If there’s ever a situation like that, one of the things to do is barricade the door,” said Belcik. “Basically, anything that can hold off the intruder.”

At one point during the training, Belcik said the officer teaching the course acted out a shooter situation and instructed them to throw anything they could at her in order to distract her and create chaos.

“This all enables you to take control of the situation,” Hendry said.

Hendry said he thinks the A.L.I.C.E. training program should be mandatory across the state and across the country too.

“The reality is that we have to be prepared,” said Belcik.

Contact Ashley Gerenday at [email protected].