The news story “Security tightens for Westmoreland, Fayette schools as year begins” discussed how some local schools are stiffening their security by adding cameras, increasing surveillance and adding school police officers to their staffs. In reality, these costly measures will do little to prevent or stop a violent intruder who has little or no regard for human life.
At least 20 percent of past school shootings have taken place outside the building, where none of these measures will help. Also, only about 10 percent of school shooters have entered the building by forcible entry because most of them were students who already had routine entry into any school building.
The only way to stop the threat as quickly as possible is by training the actual targets, the students and teachers, to work together to take down the threat as quickly as possible. Passive actions will only add to the body count.
Action needs to be quick and effective to immediately stop the threat. Many shooters have already been taken out by ordinary, untrained teachers and students.
The ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) program is one of the most effective and easily learned procedures to end threats and save lives.
The writer, a former teacher, is an ALICE training instructor.
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