OPINION: More schools need to implement ALICE Training


AliceTraining.com video screenshot

ALICE Training gives students and teachers a number of options of how to handle an intruder in the building, such as blocking classrooms.

Eric Ngo, Guest Writer

Gun violence has been a major problem in the United States for a long time, especially in schools. In order to counteract this, more schools need to adopt ALICE Training.

In 2022, many people were still dying or getting injured from school shootings. The gun safety website Every Town Research reports, “In 2022 there were at least 176 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 57 deaths and 148 injuries nationally.”

School Resource Officer Andrew Duffy says this is where ALICE training comes into play, with the ALICE acronym containing instructions on what to do in the event of a shooter. Duffy said, “[ALICE] is been upgraded over the years. Currently it still focuses on it’s acronym of alerting someone if there is an event, lockdown if needed, informing others of the situation, countering a violent subject if needed, and evacuation if possible.”

ALICE Training helps people prepare in the event of a shooting or some other critical situation. Duffy said, “It trains their minds how to react so you know how to react in that situation.”

Because of the benefits of ALICE Training, more schools should adopt it as it helps prepare against scenarios like that, and has been proven to have succeeded too. The website alicetraining.com reports, “In the past, ALICE Training has been used successfully over a dozen times to confront violence in and outside of schools.”

Principal Jeff Legan said ALICE training is about educating students. He said, “We need to make sure that students are prepared on what to do because your ultimate safety is our number one priority.”

However, even with ALICE Training in place and no matter how effective it is, it will not prevent a school shooting from occurring. Legan said, “No, it’s not [preventing a school shooting, but] it’s to prepare people in the event of a school shooter, what they should do.”

However, over the years, ALICE training has been evolving and improving, adding on more on why schools should adopt it. Duffy said, “Alice Training has evolved over the years to be more hands-on and scenario-based instead of information-based. The reason for that is so you have the mental memory to react in a critical situation without the need of thinking what you need to do.”

More schools need to adopt ALICE training, and even if it isn’t ALICE, adopt at least something to prepare. Legan said, “You know, maybe it’s not ALICE, maybe it’s another program that’s out there, but we need to prepare our students, sadly, what to do in the event of an emergency like that.

People also oftentimes know when a school shooting will occur, however, they do not speak about it. Former police detective Rich Wistocki of Calibre Press recently wrote, “There are various breakdowns when this happens. The problem is that when students see these threats on social media, they are afraid to report it due to them being known as snitches.”

It is now clear that action needs to be taken in order to prevent further school shootings, whether reporting it when you see it, or some other method. Duffy said, “And most of all, treat others the way you want to be treated so that you’re not pushing people into a corner that makes them feel that they need to react in a violent manner. Be safe and be responsible.”