Bedford Schools – Bedford, MA

Changes are coming to how the Bedford Public Schools prepare for and respond to the worst-case scenario of a school shooting – specifically, the possibility of fleeing or fighting back as a last resort. On June 18, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education updated its guidelines for a school shooting scenario, breaking from longstanding lockdown procedures, where students were instructed to stay locked in classrooms no matter what and provide no resistance, in favor of new procedures with provisions to “Run, Hide, or Fight” depending on the scenario. On July 22, the Massachusetts Task Force on School Safety and Security released its recommendations for safety procedures, with a specific focus on implementing the ALICE program – a program in keeping with the new Department of Education guidelines. On Oct. 1, Bedford secondary schools (Bedford High School and the John Glenn Middle School) will begin training staff in the ALICE program.  Under ALICE guidelines, during a lockdown scenario, students are still instructed to lock themselves in classrooms, barricade the doors and stay hidden and out of harm’s way, and are not instructed to actively engage shooters. Where the program differs from previous policies is that if a shooter is in another wing of the building, there are options to flee the building and remove themselves from danger, and, as a last resort, if a shooter breaches a room, students are instructed to throw objects to either create a diversion to escape, or to swarm the shooter to overpower him. Read more