by Mike Orange
Safety and security! As parents and educators, it is continuously at the forefront of our thinking. We seek every opportunity to harden our schools as targets against anyone who would seek to do harm. Our hearts’ desire is to guard and defend the most precious things to us...our children. At Troy Christian, we are in a continual process of evaluating our security, and we do all that we can to improve and adjust in this vital area.
To this end, three of our staff recently attended a two-day ALiCE training, hosted by the Troy Police Department. Mrs. Inman, Mrs. Long, and Mr. Orange were selected to represent each area of our educational ministry; early childhood, elementary and junior and senior high schools. We were joined by 40 other law enforcement officers and co-educators from Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia. The training involved both classroom and practical approaches to teaching the ALiCE concepts. It was in-depth and rigorous, as we were challenged by participating in full-scale scenarios to react to a variety of threatening conditions.
ALiCE, (Alert, Lockdown, inform, Counter and Evacuate), is a threat-response program that was developed in the wake of the Columbine tragedy by a law enforcement officer whose wife was an educator. This approach encourages administrators, teachers, staff, and students to actively participate in their survival during a “critical violent incident.” In the past, during such incidents, the prescribed strategy was just to lockdown in classrooms and offices, hoping that law enforcement would arrive in time to eliminate the threat. Unfortunately, most of the damage was already done before “first responders” could intervene.
In a crisis, there are other options available, and ALiCE instructs us to think, evaluate and respond with the information that we have in front of us. While barricading and locking down might be the appropriate response in one classroom or section of the building, in other areas the best option may be to evacuate. The key is not to get locked into one way of thinking, causing us to disregard options that might reduce injuries and save lives.
The representatives at the training become certified ALiCE trainers after they attend the two-day session and complete an online course, which includes passing a series of tests. They will now, in partnership with our School Resource Officers (SROs) from the Troy Police Department, use this knowledge to train our faculty, staff, and students. We believe that this will improve our security at Troy Christian and prepare us to respond in the face of an active threat more effectively. As always, this effort involves all of us in the community. If you see something, say something. Join us in this vital effort to make Troy Christian Schools a safe and joyous place to learn.