ALICE Procedures and Protocols: Are You Prepared?

Alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate: ALICE.

by Rain Griswold, Editor-in-Chief

ALICE is a school safety program that was created with the purpose of offering additional options to school faculty and students in the event of an armed intruder lockdown. Two of the founders that assisted in the development of the program have been long-term law enforcement professionals for years. There is also a 30-year educational professional who is a member of the team. This individual works to ensure that the teaching/training materials for ALICE are age-appropriate, psychologically sound and ethical, and also address the issues of individuals with special needs.

ALICE stands for 

Alert: Spread the word that there is a threat located in the building

Lockdown: Safely secure the area so that no person may enter or exit the building

Inform: Give consistent, real-time information throughout the building using all technology that is available 

Counter: This is a last resort in the case that individuals are unable to escape the threat within the building. This option may be as simple as creating a distraction to allow opportunities to escape

Evacuate: The goal is to move staff and students out of the danger zone. It is important that everyone be prepared to escape

A poster from the Luverne Public School District.
Luverne Public School District
A poster from the Luverne Public School District.

Central Kitsap High School English teacher, Kevin McCarthy, who has been trained in ALICE procedures said, “We are trained at our staff meetings and we basically do rehearsals. You know that shake out? We do that. Fire drills. ALICE training. I have to do ALICE training before school starts.” 

In regards to ALICE procedures and protocols at Central Kitsap High School, McCarthy added, “We need to take these things seriously.” and “We need to be aware of our exits and procedural stuff up on the field.”  

Another CKSD staff member trained in ALICE procedures, Amber Lybbert, said, “As an employee of CKSD, and having taken the required active shooter preparedness course, I know that all the other staff members have also taken that course, and it is a pretty informative course. It actually made me cry when I took it online, at home, because of seeing the simulation of children being faced with something like that. I think that even though it is simulated, it is impactful, and for this reason, helps to impress the things learned into our memories.” 

Lybbert also suggested that students participate in ALICE training in addition to staff members in the school. “…perhaps having students also take the active shooter preparedness course, though, not as a requirement, but for anyone that opts to do so, to be more informed.” She said, “…any volunteers should also take the course, so all adults in the schools know what to do in this type of crisis.” she added.

Central Kitsap High School principal, Craig Johnson, said that in the case of a real emergency, “There are first aid teams, parent reunion teams, damage assessment, search and rescue- there are just a lot of teams set up to help us out in case of an emergency.” 

Johnson, as a high up administrator in the school, is in a position where much of student and staff safety is in his hands. “The best thing we can do here is to let them know that all the staff care about them.” He said, when asked about his views on Central Kitsap High School’s current safety status and growing threat of gun violence in schools. “All we can do is build a positive community that people want to take care of.” he also ended. “It doesn’t work if we don’t trust each other.” 

The threat of gun violence is a fear of many, especially students and staff members. 

Lybbert explained where she believes this fear comes from, and why no one should exist in fear. “The root of fear is a feeling of having a lack of control. What can each of us control? The answer is not very much, since we cannot control other people, we can only control ourselves. And what do we have control of in our lives? Only our own choices. And so, I don’t fear much, because I feel I have done what I personally can do to be prepared, and that is all I can do. So then fear is an unnecessary emotion to have.” She said. 

ALICE training has allowed for a reduction of this fear. The generalized list of procedures give confidence to those that are at risk and allow for the utmost preparedness.

For more information on ALICE, visit The ALICE Training Institute or call 360-661-0106.