Kent Schools Review Lockdown Scenarios on Heels of Chardon Shootings

Kent Schools studying ALICE protocol for faster evacuations in active shooter situations

Purely coincidentally, administrators at are reviewing a fairly new method for evacuating school children in the event a gunman enters a district school building.

Principals for all eight of Kent's schools will meet with district officials on Monday, March 6, to hear a presentation from law enforcement experts on a fairly new philosophy regarding lockdown situations. The meeting, scheduled weeks in advance, will come one week after the deadly shooting at Chardon High School that killed two students and injured three more yesterday.

Kent City Schools Superintendent Joseph Giancola said the presentation will be about ALICE, which is an acronym for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate.

"The philosophy behind ALICE is to remove as many people as possible from the danger zone to minimize targets of opportunity for a perpetrator," Giancola said. "Whereas the previous philosophy was lockdown, don’t leave, don’t go anywhere."

Like Chardon, Kent's current policy directs school teachers and staff to lock the door, turn off the lights, draw the blinds and stay in the classroom if a shooter enters the school. Students and staff typically are not evacuated until an entire building or school wing is declared safe by authorities.

Under ALICE, smaller portions of a school building may be evacuated more immediately, Giancola said.

"The ALICE philosophy might be a little more immediate and localized to different classrooms and different sections of the building," he said. "And that’s new, and that’s what we’re studying."

Giancola said ALICE would need some review from administrators and the board of education before Kent applies the new philosophy to violent situations, and that may take some time.

Right now, Kent schools conduct two comprehensive lockdown drills per year that involve the . More frequently, the individual schools hold lockdown drills to practice locking the building's doors as quickly as possible.

Today, a full contingent of guidance counselors and staff psychologists are available to Kent students who may feel the need to talk about the deadly shootings that happened just 30 miles north of Kent.

"The Chardon incident is a tragedy for all students everywhere," Giancola said. "Students in any school district feel that tragic sense of grief that the students at Chardon feel."

Jon Ridinger February 28, 2012 at 04:09 PM
"Kent's current policy directs school teachers and staff to lock the door..." This is not possible for substitute teachers because subs are not given keys to whatever room they are in, despite also being "staff". If the room is not open when they get there, they have to go find another teacher who has a key, As far as I know, the policy calls for administrators to go to rooms with subs and lock the doors for them, which obviously takes extra time and assumes there aren't a lot of subs in the building (which can vary greatly, especially this time of year).
Kymberly Seabolt February 28, 2012 at 04:47 PM
My initial response yesterday was "Yes! Metal Detectors! Everywhere!" The truth, however, is that this would prevent a gunman getting IN the school. They still have access to students on buses, sidewalks, and as they enter and leave. I don't know what the answer is to that.
Jon Ridinger February 28, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I was about to make that point on another thread! Metal detectors would deter some aspects, but hardly prevent it, especially if the metal detectors create long lines to get in the school every morning. Plus most high schools have dozens of entrances. If someone is hellbent on shooting someone in the school, they'll find another way to get in,
mk February 29, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Hope the school officials will not reject ALICE


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