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Hampton/Shaler

ALICE security training for all Hampton students this fall

| Monday, March 19, 2018, 9:00 p.m.
Hampton Township Police Chief Tom Vulakovich
Hampton Township Police Chief Tom Vulakovich

Students at Hampton Township School District will be trained in ALICE this fall, a program used in emergency situations.

ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate, has already been implemented at the district to all staff, according to Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, assistant superintendent to the district.

She presented the information along with township Police Chief Tom Vulakovich and School Resource Officer Aaron Zola at the school board meeting March 12.

The active shooter response training is a nonlinear approach to dealing with emergency situations, meaning it's not something one takes as a step-by-step basis, said Zola.

Rather, trainees are given all the criteria useful to better assess and react to a situation.

It provides someone to “do the right thing at the right time based on the circumstances and based on the information you've just received,” said Cunningham. “You need to know how to be situationally aware.”

District administration, township and police department are encouraging parents to attend a free ALICE training this summer on July 22, at the community center from noon to 4 p.m.

Everything now is simplified direction and language, said Zola and Vulakovich. They do not use codes any more.

ALICE gives training on how to “proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event,” according to its website.

“We're going to do it and we're going to do it right,” said Vulakovich.

Cunningham said after completing the training herself, it gives her a different outlook when she goes places but now she's more comfortable of knowing what do in a situation.

They said this training is ideal for all situations, whether a threat is at a church, workplace, or movie theater, and so these students and staff can take what they've learned and apply it in other situations.

“At this point, we are thinking of it as a life skill,” said Cunningham. She said it's helpful for those seniors who will be graduating soon as they can use it in the real world.

Cunningham said training for students will developmentally be appropriate for grades,.

A senior needs to know what to do but a child at the younger primary grades need to know to just follow their teacher, said Cunningham. They do also use more simple language with the younger students.

Prior to the presentation at the school district board meeting, several parents brought up other programs, such as the Sandy Hook Promise. Cunningham said they are aware of these programs and have done a lot of research on them all.

She said Dr. Michael Loughead, superintendent for Hampton, communicates regularly with all area superintendents on the subject. They said Hampton has been noted as having a good reputation for its safety and emergency plans.

“We are more prepared than most districts. Can we do more? ‘Yes.' And we will keep doing more,” said Loughead.

Zola said residents can also visit the ALICE website for more information. Chris Lochner, municipal manager for the township, said details will be on the township website in the near future on how to register for the ALICE training.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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