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Teaching Students How To Deal With A Shooter

With tragic shootings at Columbine, Paducah, Jonesboro and Virginia Tech, school districts around the country have been forced to design safety strategies for their students and staff.

After finding the current trainings inadequate and overly “passive,” a new and sometimes controversial safety training called A.L.I.C.E. was created, teaching students to be more aggressive during an armed attack.

A.L.I.C.E. which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. On Wednesday, local law enforcement and school officials from nine Massachusetts area districts will be trained in the method.

We’ll talk about where this new line of thinking came from, how realistic it might be, and how parents are reacting.

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  • Suzanne Hegland

    Hello  – I live in Canton where this program is being considered. I’m also a featured writer for Huffington Post and had this published there today. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzanne-hegland/school-shooting-safety_b_2114541.html

    I’ll be calling in during the show – such an important topic.
    suzanne.hegland@gmail.com
     781.405.3777

  • Adrian

    Greg Crane is amazing and is someone who has personal experience.  Can’t wait to hear him.

  • Kathy

    What an idiotic concept. The chances of being killed in a school shooting are lower than being hit by lightning. This is just a get rich quick scheme preying on parental fears. Everyone involved should be ashamed.

    • Soshore

      I am a mother of school age children and a police officer. I can’t believe that you would want your child told to sit in the corner and wait for police and do nothing else when a gunman is headed toward their classroom. Police do not get there in time. I know this as fact. If you believe this to be an idiotic concept, then what would you have your child or child’s teacher do? Because right now, they are being told to sit in the corner and be shot just like they did at Columbine, Virginia Tech and other schools across America. Kathy, please tell me this, if you were in a store with your child and a shooter came into the store and began killing people, would you want sitting in the corner with your child to be your only option or would want the option of being able to run out the nearest exit? Greg’s concept gives options and supports evacuation, unlike most school policies which support shelter in place only.

      • Sjpagano

        Agree 100%. I am not sure what our school is teaching my kids on what to do but I will be researching every tactic that will increase my child or my self in what options I have in increasing my chances of survival. I would rather die knowing I gave it my all and maybe even slowed the shooter or saved lives than just sit there and let them shoot me.  Killers, Rapist, Burglars don’t look for victims that are going to make their life harder, they want easy targets.  

    • jesrano

      What an idiotic post. Just because the chances are slim you shouldn’t prepare for it? Maybe you should do some research before you post- this is absolutely the farthest thing from a get rich quick scheme preying on parental fears. A trained police officer concerned about the procedures asking his wife, an elementary school principal, what they are trained to do in a lockdown situation? I’m ashamed that there are people out there that make comments like this without knowing a thing about it or the people involved in it.

  • PJM

    Accuracy depends on the tool (gun) and operator (shooter).

  • Amy

    I can’t believe we are teaching young children how to respond to a mass shooter instead of banning assault weapons.  We are responding to 21st century technology threats with stone age thinking.

    • aa

      Assault weapons aren’t going to get assault weapons banned
      soon so we need to know how to respond in the mean time .

      • midtempo

        It won’t?  Okay, then, we need a ban on large magazines of ammunition.  There is no good reason why anybody needs a magazine to shoot for a whole uninterrupted minute without having to reload, unless they are going on some wacky spree like out of a movie, or if they are a crazed shooter.

    • Sjpagano

      Even if you ban guns, bad people will still find away to get them. It’s the law not to drive drunk and how many people still get behind the wheel intoxicated and drive. There is laws on driving the speed limit and people still drive faster than they are suppose to.  There is laws that ban illegal drugs but there are still people out there that make, sell or do drugs. So, they can make a law to ban guns but if they want them they will find away to get them.  I think educating people (children or adults) will increase their chance of survival. I feel that giving them the tools to increase their survival is an excellent idea. We teach them what to do if there is a fire, not to talk to strangers, using the buddy system, what to do if some one grabs you (YELL FOR HELP and hit and kick). So why not educate them in what to do if a BAD person comes into their school with a gun. 

  • midtempo

    Meghna, good job moderating this debate.  Greg was a difficult guest who often interrupted both Curt and Meghna, and I believe Meghna did a good job handling the situation and keeping the debate civil.

    • Sinclair2

      Greg Crane needs to tone down his presentation and responses to other people.  When he alone was talking, I could hear the intensity build in his voice.  He sounded like he was getting angry at his own words.  When others spoke, he lacked control and tried to interupt.   A bit impulsive for a presenter I think.

  • midtempo

    Despite my criticism of Greg’s behavior on the show, I think Greg had a more valid argument.  When Curt suggested near the end that, in a school-shooting situation, children need to defer to the Adult in the Room, and that kids can faint before quizzes so how can we trust them to take action correctly, I think he lost the argument.  In many situations, the Adult in the Room can’t respond quickly enough and it’s up to each student to take action on his own.  And these students need to be trained how to do that.  In my opinion, confusing a gunman by running all directions or throwing things at him is an effective way to reduce the chances of getting shot.  Anyone who has ever played a first-person shooter even knows this. (And I thought I learned nothing from playing Quake for hours in 1998!)

    Despite everything discussed here, yes, you have a greater chance of getting hit by lightning then getting shot by a school shooter.  What really should be discussed is a blanket, nationwide ASSAULT-WEAPONS BAN and a ban on LARGE AMMUNITION MAGAZINES.

    • sf

      Get rid of assult weapons, which isn’t a bad idea, but these people will still find other weapons. Bombs for example

  • sf

    It’s not a “get rich quick scheme,” its run by
    people who genuinely care about the issue. School shootings happen more often
    than you think. Our schools run fire drill when no one had died in a school
    fire in the U.S. since 1958 but students die in school shootings every year.

  • IARAIDER

    Im amazed at some of these comments. We have not lost a life from a school fire for over 50 years and every school.is mandated to have fire drills. We have active shooter situations almost weekly throughout the US, in all types of environments, yet some are blind to it stating the chances are low.of.ever being involved. Yes, the.odds are low, but it happens alot more than school fires. It is also very low chance your house will burn down but.you.have insurance. To attack a man who is not even from your state and is.trying to save.your.childrens lives is unbelievable. Of course your way of denial and doing nothing is always best. How some knowledge on the topic before you point fingers and make accusations.

  • Sheila Leavitt

    Some of us who were kids during the Duck and Cover years of the cold war era still remember the nightmares these ridiculous and worthless drills engendered. By “educating” our children in how to respond to an armed attack in their schools we will create great psychological distress and dread, as well as helping promote the “new normal” armed society that we have become. While we’re at it, let’s make whole-body Kevlar the new National School Uniform. Let’s send every kindergardener to school packing heat along with their PBJs. We are a sick, sick society, led down the blood-slick slippery slope by the Purveyors of Death, the NRA and the weapons dealers they serve.

    • IARAIDER

      I agree there are some very sick people in our society. Anybody that enters a school and wounds, kills and torments children, is a very sick person. What I dont understand is why people, like yourself, accept this behavior by not preparing yourself for it. Instead of doing something positive, you point fingers at guns, NRA, and those that are training our kids how to survive. What is your answer to stop these killings? Dont say ban guns, because that has been done and doesnt work. I watch people attack who they feel cause these killings and never do they attack the KILLER! Why are we questioning a man who has taken it upon himself to.help others? Before you.make comments about.dressing.kids in.kevlar, ask yourself what have you done to prevent these killings?

      • Sheila Leavitt

        Actually, banning guns does work. Don’t be absurd.

        • sf

          active killers have been known to use weapons other than guns.

        • JML

          Yes I agree, lets BAN guns just like we BAN illegal drugs.  I remember a society with drug users and abuser but when they became illegal, all drugs dissapeared.  Great Idea!

        • IARAIDER

          Shiela- Instead of saying Im being.absurd, why dont you share with where guns have been banned and killings with guns ended. DC? Chicago? Canada? I would like to know. Asian cultures have active killers, they commonly use edged weapons, shall we ban knives? We have killings with baseball bats, shall we ban bats? You make a lot.of statements but fail to provide any facts to support what you say. I simply ask what are you doing to increase survivability? We have speed laws, anti drunk driving laws and groups, and strict.driving laws, so.why do we wear seatbelts?? Because we (people who take self responsibility instead of blaming others) prepare for bad situations so we can survive. Stop blaming tennis shoe makers for.providing footwear for.killers, be angry and blame.the.killer!!

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