A.L.I.C.E. training — teaching students to attack armed gunmen — is “an overreaction and potentially dangerous,” according to Dr. Stephen Brock of the National Association of School Psychologists.
The A.L.I.C.E. program, which stands for Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate, is described as “controversial” in a March 28th article by Mother Jones writer Deanna Pan entitled, “Schools are training second-graders to attack mass shooters.”
An Ohio eight-year-old describes being told to “start throwing stuff” including pencils, chairs, boxes, books, and markers.
Brock, the school psychologist, reportedly says that teaching such tactics may cause unnecessary anxiety and stress for students, especially young kids who are more easily traumatized.
The article provides a link to an A.L.I.C.E. training booklet that recommends rearranging classroom layouts to create a “minefield” and instructs to gain a “tactical advantage” by throwing items.
“While he’s busy ducking and covering his head from our air assault, we can now begin the ground assault,” the booklet continues, calling for “a small number of the attacked to become attackers.”
The Mother Jones article identifies the Burleson (TX) school district as where the program’s creator Greg Crane launched the program until parents reportedly complained about the “Counter” component of teaching kids to attack shooters. The article cites a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article from 2006 indicating the district dropped the “Counter” procedure. It also notes that Crane, a former police officer whose wife was an elementary school principal in the district, was believed to have been “reassigned” from his high school teaching position.
The article also cites an Ohio A.L.I.C.E.-trained 17-year-old student who reportedly was told by her high school teacher that the plan for evacuating her second-story classroom through a window would involve having students tie their jeans together to form a rope.
The student was quoted as calling the idea “weird” because no one would then be wearing pants.
It is a good to see that A.L.I.C.E. training and its history are getting a second, more critical look.