TIPP CITY — Thursday evening, the Tipp City school district provided an active shooter response training informational session to the community.
Attendees learned more about the ALICE program, the training district staff has received. School officials and Tipp City Police Officer Corey Rismiller gave an overview of the training the program provides.
ALICE — an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate — provides options on how to respond in the event a person is faced with an aggressive intruder or active shooter. Clay Lavercomb, assistant principal of Tippecanoe Middle School, said much of the program reinforces and “streamlines” some of the emergency responses the district has in place.
“ALICE is about making decisions,” said Nick Petro, a military veteran and physical education teacher in the district. “Not making a decision is the worst choice.”
Petro recounted the events of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 and noted the different reactions victims had in the moment, from hiding to barricading the classroom doors. He said that, when confronted by an active shooter situation, those who response proactively instead of passively have a better chance of surviving.
Rismiller added that the previous advice during lockdowns to sit quietly in classrooms made staff and students “sitting ducks.”
“So now it’s: the more you more, the more you ‘counter,’ the better chance you have at surviving,” Rismiller said.
L.T. Ball Principal Mike Vagedes explained the “counter” part of the program as not fighting, but taking proactive measures.
Presenters talked about and demonstrated ways of distracting or driving off an intruder, like throwing classroom items. Attendees were also shown some examples of ways to block classroom doors.
Several audience members were asked to use a laser pointer to shoot dots on a screen, then given distractions to show how shooters can be thrown off.
The district recently completed ALICE training for staff, including bus drivers, part-time cafeteria and custodial staff. The latest training session included bringing a bus onsite to practice scenarios on the vehicle.
In addition to ALICE training, school officials said the district is making physical improvements to their buildings to make them safer, including adding film to windows to make them more projectile-resistant and installing new emergency alert systems.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.