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Ludlow Public Schools ALICE Training | Connecting Point | Mar. 12, 2018

Ludlow Public Schools ALICE Training | Connecting Point | Mar. 12, 2018


>>SINCE THE SHOOTING AT MARJORY
STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL, THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF TALK ABOUT
GUN CONTROL AND MENTAL HEALTH. TONIGHT, WE LOOK AT HOW SOME
SCHOOLS PREPARE FOR THE UNTHINKABLE, AN ACTIVE SHOOTER. LUDLOW PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN
USING A PROGRAM CALLED ALICE TRAINING WHICH BREAKS FROM THE
TRADITIONAL LOCKDOWN METHOD THAT MANY DISTRICTS USE. CAROLEE MCGRATH SAT DOWN WITH
THE LUDLOW SUPERINTENDENT TODD GAZDA AND THE LUDLOW POLICE
LIEUTENANT MICHAEL BRENNAN TO LEARN MORE.>>ALICE IS AN ACRONYM, IT
STANDS FOR ALERT, LOCKDOWN, ENCOUNTER AND EVACUATE. IT’S A RESPONSE SYSTEM FOR
DEALING WITH VIOLENT INTRUDERS OR ACTIVE KILLERS OR SHOOTERS. AND WHAT IT IS, IT’S A STEP
BEYOND THE TRADITIONAL LOCKDOWN MODEL WHICH KIND OF HAS ITS
GENESIS WITH DUCK AND COVER, IF YOU GO BACK TO, YOU KNOW, YEARS
AGO, COLD WAR ERA, AND IT WAS DESIGNED BASICALLY LOCKDOWN WAS
TO KEEP STUDENTS AND STAFF SAFE IN SCHOOL FOR INCIDENTS THAT ARE
HAPPENING OUTSIDE OF THE SCHOOL. AND IT’S STILL EFFECTIVE AND
IT’S OBVIOUSLY PART OF THE ACRONYM IN TERMS OF, YOU KNOW,
KEEPING PEOPLE SAFE FROM THREATS OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL. BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE THREAT
IS INSIDE SCHOOL. WE NEED A BETTER MODEL OR A
BETTER PLAN.>>THIS IS SOMETHING A LITTLE
BIT UNIQUE FOR THIS AREA BECAUSE MOST OF THE TIME, YOU DO HEAR
ABOUT LOCKDOWN. YOU HEAR ABOUT KIDS IN SCHOOL
DOING THE DRILLS. YOU KNOW, PREPARING FOR GOD
FORBID AN ACTIVE SHOOTER BUT IT USUALLY TURNS TO THE LOCKDOWN. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO IN THIS
DIRECTION?>>WELL, IN TAKING A LOOK AT OUR
CURRENT PROCEDURES AND HOW WE RESPOND OR WERE TRAINED TO
RESPOND TO ANY GIVEN SITUATION WHICH MIGHT ARISE, WE FELT THAT
THERE WAS SOMETHING MISSING. AND SO WE BEGAN TO RESEARCH AND
LOOK AT PROGRAMS THAT WERE OUT THERE. THE ALICE PROGRAM WAS ONE THAT
WE FELT FIT OUR NEEDS WITH RESPECT TO ENSURING TO THE BEST
EXTENT POSSIBLE THE SAFETY OF OUR STUDENT POPULATION. I WOULD SAY THAT THE MAJORITY OF
SCHOOLS HAVE MOVED AWAY FROM THE TRADITIONAL LOCKDOWN TO SOME
TYPE OF ENHANCED, YOU KNOW, LOCKDOWN PROCEDURE OR RESPONSE
TO AN ACTIVE INTRUDER.>>AS OPPOSED TO JUST LOCKING
DOWN, LET’S SAY THERE’S AN INTRUDER IN THE FRONT OF THE
BUILDING COMES THROUGH THE MAIN OFFICE BUT YOUR CLASSROOM IS ON
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BUILDING. DOES THE TEACHER HAVE THE
AUTONOMY TO SAY KIDS, WE’RE GETTING OUT OF HERE.>>THAT’S EXACTLY IT. WITH TRADITIONAL LOCKDOWN, THAT
WAS STARTED AS A COMMAND TO DO SOMETHING. AND THAT MODEL THAT WAS REALLY
NO OTHER INFORMATION BEING SENT. YOU KNOW, TEACHERS WERE LOCKING
DOWN THE — MAYBE CLOSING A LOCK IN THE DOOR, TURNING OFF THE
LIGHTS AND THAT WAS ABOUT IT. MAYBE HIDING. THIS NOW TELLS TEACHERS NOT JUST
HEY, THERE’S AN INTRUDER IN THE BUILDING. A LOCKDOWN COMMAND MAY BE GIVEN
AS A STARTING POINT BUT THAT TELLS ME AS A TEACHER, I CAN
EVACUATE. I CAN GO RIGHT TO THE E IN THAT
ACRONYM WHICH I THINK IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE
ACRONYM. IT’S NOT A LINEAR PROGRESSION OR
PROGRESSIVE STEPS. TEACHERS AND STUDENTS UNDERSTAND
THAT, HEY, IF THERE’S AN INTRUDER OR THREAT IN THE
BUILDING AND I’M ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE BUILDING AND NOT NEAR THE
OFFICE, I CAN GET OUT OF HERE AND NOT LOCK MYSELF DOWN WITH
THE THREAT.>>LET’S TALK ABOUT THE COUNTER
COMPONENT OF IT AS WELL. DOES THAT MEAN IF THE THREAT IS
RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU THAT YOU ENCOURAGE TEACHERS TO FIGHT? WHAT DOES COUNTER MEAN?>>SO I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE
HEAR THE COUNTER AND ASSOCIATE THAT DIRECTLY WITH FIGHTING. COUNTER CAN BE EVERYTHING. I MEAN, EVACUATION IS KIND OF
LIKE A COUNTER IN AND OF ITSELF. BASICALLY, WHAT THAT IS TO
DISTRACT OR ANOTHER WAY TO JUST THROW THE PERSON OR THE ATTACKER
OFF BALANCE.>>HOW DO YOU DO THAT? GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE. WHAT ARE YOU TELLING THE
TEACHERS TO DO?>>EVERYTHING FROM CREATING
NOISE. YOU KNOW, WE HAVE — IF A FIRE
ALARM IS PULLED OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE
THAT KIND OF NOISE GOING ON. YOU KNOW, BARRICADING THE DOORS
IF YOU’RE TOO CLOSE TO THE THREAT. IF YOU CAN’T EVACUATE, YOU CAN
BARRICADE THE DOORS AS BEST AS YOU CAN. EVEN TALK ABOUT HOW TO ESCAPE
OUT OF WINDOWS, IF POSSIBLE. SO ALL THESE DIFFERENT THINGS
ARE COUNTER. IT’S NOT JUST FIGHTING.>>BUT IT’S DISTRACTION IT
SOUNDS LIKE THE BEST WAY TO COMBAT SOMEBODY.>>INTERRUPTING THEIR THINKING
PROCESS. EVERYBODY HAS A WAY OF HOW THEY
REACT AND ACT TO CERTAIN SITUATIONS AND AN ATTACKER
COMING IN HAS SOMETHING ON HIS MIND WHAT HE WANTS TO DO. IF YOU CAN KIND OF INTERRUPT
THAT CYCLE OF THE DECISION MAKING CYCLE, YOU CAN CREATE
JUST ADDITIONAL TIME FOR YOU TO MAYBE ESCAPE OR BARRICADE.>>AND BUY TIME AS FAR AS THE
POLICE.>>THAT’S THE BIGGEST THING,
BUYING TIME FOR THE POLICE TO GET THERE AND HOPEFULLY
INTERRUPT THE ATTACKER.>>HOW DO THE TEACHERS FEEL
ABOUT THIS?>>YOU KNOW, IT WAS A LEARNING
PROCESS. AND THERE WAS DEFINITELY A
LEARNING CURVE WITH IT. YOU KNOW, THERE’S IMMEDIATE
UNCOMFORTABLENESS TO, YOU KNOW, THIS IDEA. THERE’S A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF, YOU
KNOW, COMFORT LEVEL THAT COMES WHERE, YOU KNOW, KNOWING
SPECIFICALLY IF THIS HAPPENS, THIS IS WHAT I DO.
AND SO IT’S ALMOST BECOMES LIKE A REFLECTIVE RESPONSE, OK,
INTRUDER IN THE BUILDING, LOCKDOWN. IT’S EASY. IT’S EASY TO REMEMBER. IT’S GOOD FOR COMMAND AND
CONTROL OF, YOU KNOW, THE POPULATION. BUT IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, IT
WASN’T THE BEST OPTION TO KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE. AND SO AS WE WENT THROUGH THE
TRAINING AND NOW WE’VE BEEN, I THINK WE’RE ALMOST FOUR YEARS OR
FIVE YEARS ALMOST INTO IT, AND WE TRAIN NEW STAFF UP IN THESE
PROCEDURES AS THEY COME ON BOARD, THEY’VE GOTTEN USED TO
IT. AND TO SOME EXTENT FEEL
EMPOWERED AND NOW FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO KNOW WHAT TO
DO IN DIFFERENT SITUATIONS TO RESPOND TO KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE.>>THERE’S CERTAINLY A LOT OF
TALK ABOUT SCHOOL SECURITY ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND, OF
COURSE, BRINGS IN THE WHOLE ISSUE OF GUN CONTROL. BUT ASIDE FROM THAT, A FEW IDEAS
HAVE BEEN FLOATED. ONE, ARMING TEACHERS AND YOU SAY
TO THAT?>>NO. I DON’T BELIEVE ARMING TEACHERS
WOULD MAKE OUR STUDENTS SAFE OR SCHOOLS SAFER. THERE ARE OTHER ACTIONS THAT WE
COULD TAKE, OTHER RESOURCES WE COULD USE THAT WOULD MAKE OUR
SCHOOL SAFER.>>I’D LIKE TO GO ON THAT. LET’S SAY YOU HAVE THE OPTION OF
PUTTING AN ARMED SECURITY GUARD OR A POLICE OFFICER, FORMER
MILITARY WHO IS TRAINED IN EVERY SCHOOL. WOULD YOU TAKE IT?>>YOU KNOW, WHEN I LOOK AT, YOU
KNOW, PUTTING ARMED PEOPLE IN BUILDINGS, I REALLY LOOK TO THE
TRAINING THAT THOSE INDIVIDUALS HAVE. I AM FULLY IN SUPPORT OF THE
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER PROGRAM. NOT EVERY POLICE OFFICER HAS THE
SKILLS NECESSARY TO BE A SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER. THERE’S A CERTAIN PERSONALITY
THAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. A CERTAIN APPROACH. AND THERE’S A LOT OF TRAINING
THAT GOES ALONG WITH THAT. SO IN MY — AM I IN SUPPORT OF
PUTTING RESOURCE OFFICERS IN SCHOOLS? DEFINITELY.>>IN EVERY SCHOOL, EVEN
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS?>>ONE OF THE THINGS IS IT’S A
BALANCING TEST. WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING TO COME
FROM? THE SCHOOLS RIGHT NOW, WE ALWAYS
SAY WE HAVE LIMITED RESOURCES AND WE’RE MAKING THE BEST WITH
WHAT WE CAN DO WITH WHAT WE ARE GIVEN. IF ALL OF A SUDDEN, THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT WAS TO GET BEHIND A PROGRAM TO HELP FUND AND SUPPORT
RESOURCE OFFICERS IN SCHOOLS, I’D BE MORE THAN IN FAVOR OF
PUTTING IN RESOURCE OFFICERS.>>THIS IS A CONVERSATION THAT
YOU’LL BE HAVING WITH A LOT OF PARENTS THAT HAVE SO MANY
CONCERNS. WE APPRECIATE YOU COMING IN.>>MY PLEASURE.


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