Springfield, OR

How public schools should deal with the threat of a shooter long has been a topic of debate nationwide. Some believe teachers should be armed. Others think bullet-proof windows and doors would help. Amid the discussion, some schools are training their students and staff to act without the benefit of weapons or special barricades. Beginning Dec. 7, the Springfield School District will train all students in ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.  “If we are committed to keeping kids safe, we need to be proactive and realistic,” she wrote on the school website. McCulley also said traditional lockdowns have been shown to create targets for a violent intruder. The Springfield School District’s school law enforcement officers and other local law enforcement agencies recommend ALICE, McCulley said. McCulley said about 1,300 teachers, administrators and other staff in the Springfield School District were trained in ­ALICE before the start of this school year. The district has been talking for the past 18 months with local law enforcement about the training.  The training will be tailored to each age group, McCulley said, with customized plans for elementary, middle and high school students. Suzanne Price, the director of elementary education for Springfield, said ALICE training will be about three simple steps for K-5 students. “The first step is to listen to the teacher,” Price said. “Then get away from danger, which is different than the traditional lockdown where you stay put, and the third step would be to make it even harder for danger to reach you.” Price said classes will practice evacuations later in the school year. Read more