This year, Andover High School has been focusing on making the AHS community safer this school year by informing students and teachers about a procedure known as ALICE training.
ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate and is a way to remember what to do in the case of an intruder or generally dangerous situation.
These steps are not necessarily meant to be done in order, but used as guidelines for individuals to assess the situation and make an informed decision.To implement this protocol, AHS held a drill in November to practice a scenario in which the school would have to use ALICE.
School Resource Officer DuBois commented that “with violent events going on around the world, it was good to put it [ALICE] in effect immediately.”
Before having the training exercise, workshops were held during H blocks to explain what to do if an intruder enters the building. It was decided to have the drill soon after the H block presentations because, as Principal Conrad stated, “We had trained the faculty and the students and felt like everyone had a basic understanding of the ALICE protocols and that this would be the next step.” Having been told what to do in an ALICE scenario, the next step was to practice what had been taught to the students in their H-Blocks.
Conrad said that administration felt the drill “went well,” but he noted, “We definitely saw some areas we can improve on and so we will continue to improve through drills in the future.”
Students like Nicole Burgess, a sophomore, also believe that there are things AHS needs to work on. Burgess said, “It was kind of chaotic and everyone just took it as a joke and everyone just wanted to evacuate and get out of the school.” An issue was that some classes left the building when they should have stayed and barricaded the door. In a real life situation, they would have been in jeopardy because they were near the location of the intruder, putting their lives and the lives of others in danger.
Looking into the future there are things to change. To improve upon a drill next time, Conrad wants to not make an announcement beforehand so students will take the activity more seriously.
Along with this, Officer DuBois has a goal of “having ALICE drills as often as we have fire drills to develop more preparation for faculty and students.” Classes would have to act without the prior knowledge of a drill. This will hopefully add a sense of reality to the situation since it would force students and staff know what to expect, while hopefully giving them better understanding of ALICE protocol.
For more information on ALICE training, visit https://www.alicetraining.com/.
By Maggie Graw