Dubuque Community School District- Dubuque, IA 

During a lockdown drill presentation Wednesday, Mazzuchelli Catholic Middle School students learned about options to thwart intruders. Teachers reviewed ALICE, an active-shooter preparedness program, during morning religion classes. The program’s name stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. This is the third year Holy Family has used ALICE training. Prior to that system, students practiced traditional lockdowns. “Our old strategy was we were all going to be in the corner of the room,” Hefel said. Students, he added, were like ducks in a barrel. Gabe Dominguez, an eighth-grader agreed, he said he didn’t like the old lockdown protocol that required students to stay in a classroom because it was “easier to hit more people.” Students now are empowered to complete various actions, such as barricade themselves in a classroom, evacuate through a door or smash a window to exit the room. “I like the fact that we’re able to do what we want and feel safe with our decision,” Jared Weber, an eighth-grader said. Read more