TAPS staff, administration take part in ALICE safety training
By Per Peterson
There was a time when educators were told to lock down their rooms and huddle in the corner with their students in case of a shooting on campus.
Times have changed.
Today, school staff are being taught to do … something — anything, but wait to be killed. And the more they do, the harder it is on someone with a gun.
Tracy Police Chief Jason Lichty last week spent time in both public schools to offer ALICE training to teachers and school staff. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter Evacuate. The training focuses on what to do during active shooting situations on school campuses, and Lichty said reactions among school officials and students needs to change.
“What we’re teaching today is survival,” he said. “We need to teach kids that they can get away from this event, they can barricade themselves into safe areas, they can counter to interrupt the shooter.”
Tracy Area High School Supt. Chad Anderson attended training at both public schools and said Lichty’s presentations were thorough and informational.
“The one day of training at each school was the perfect amount of time needed to understand the ALICE philosophy and how it should be implemented at both the elementary and high school,” he said. “We now understand the difference between the traditional ‘lock down’ that we practiced in the past and how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event. The number one take away for me was, ‘don’t wait to be a victim.’”
On Wednesday at the high school, Lichty ran through a number of “live” scenarios with the group of teachers and school staff, splitting them into two groups that would go into separate classrooms to go through different scenarios and outcomes. Four of those scenarios and reactions to an active shooter included a lockdown where everyone in the room would huddle in one area, barricading the door to keep the shooter out, evacuating the room and finally fighting back by throwing objects at the shooter.
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.