This week, Old Colony invited in the Rochester Police Department to perform the annual ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) training.
For the past three years, Old Colony has adopted the ALICE policies to handle an active shooter event. Although the likelihood of such an event is miniscule, the school prides itself on being prepared and keeping its students safe.
Most active shooting events only last between five and seven minutes. In this short time period, students must decide whether to flee, barricade, or fight back as a last resort. The idea behind ALICE is to promote action to increase survivability in the event of a crisis. For this reason, Old Colony adopted the ALICE program three years ago.
Each year, Old Colony invites the Rochester Police Department to give a presentation on the training to the new freshmen. Police instruct the students on evacuation procedures and barricading. They go over where the school meeting points are located. They also discuss the option of breaking windows, though this is obviously not practiced in the drill. After sitting through the presentation, the school runs a practice drill.
It is announced over the intercom there is a shooter in the building, and though it is only a drill, tensions run high. Over the course of minutes, students receive information via the intercom about the intruder’s location in the building and physical descriptions. They, along with their teachers, are left with the decision to run or barricade the doors.
For those who run, it can be a scary moment sprinting out of the school. For those who barricade, it can also be a scary few minutes. With the lights out and students hidden in perfect silence, police officers test barricades by attempting to get through doors, often slamming into them and shaking the locks. It can be a stressful and scary drill for students, but the lessons and techniques learned are invaluable.
Old Colony hopes that it will never need to use the skills learned in these drills, but it will continue to teach them in order to keep its students safe. For more information on the ALICE program, visit https://www.alicetraining.com/about-us/.
By Elizabeth Jerome