ALICE drills prepare staff and students


The Mirror reporter

It’s been four years since the Stevens Point Area Public School District converted from Code React to ALICE for school safety.

Here are some of the steps the teachers at Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH) has done to prepare their class and themselves in case of a school shooting.

Steve Harris has a bucket of hand-sizes rocks for students to use as defense. (Hlee Yang photo)

Science teacher Steve Harris is more than well prepared for a school shooting and has taken extra measures for his students’ and his safety in room 1003. Harris has door stoppers he could put in between the door and the door frame. When the teachers were taught about counter-attacking the shooter, they mention using books, but Harris personally feels that throwing books is ineffective because students can’t really throw them far. Instead, he found something that he felt would be much better. Harris has a bucket of rocks with inspirational quotes on them. Harris also has baseball bats for students to use if necessary.

The first thing that science teacher Jill Donahue would do in a school shooting is making sure all her doors are locked and barricaded. Donahue is in different classrooms during the school day so the method depends on which classroom she’s in. Donahue already has a plan depending on the situation. Depending on what information that Donahue receives, she would make a determination about the way to keep her students the safest including evacuating and/or countering the shooter.

English instructor Nicole Schoenfeld would go through the ALICE procedure: first being alerted then locking down right away depending on where the threat is. If Schoenfeld and her students can evacuate then she would do that first, but if they can’t then Schoenfeld plans to barricade her rooms. She also plans to arm her students with anything that can be useful in countering the shooter if the shooter gets inside her class.

If the event were to occur, social studies teacher Michael Shefchik plans to follow the ALICE procedure and stay informed. In the ALICE practice drill on Sept. 28, Shefchik discussed the different kinds of scenarios with his students. He earnestly feels that as long as staff and students have a lot of practice then they will be prepared if there were to be a school shooting at SPASH.

All teachers emphasized the need to know the layout of the school. Everyone needs to know which staircase is closest to their classroom so that depending on the information they can decide which tactic is safest whether that’d be evacuating or barricading.