Teachers participate in active shooter training

District 204 teachers took part in an active shooter training session at Neuqua Valley High School last Friday. Nationwide concern about school safety has increased over the past few years, culminating in many schools taking greater measures to ensure schools remain a safe place.

The district wide training lasted roughly two hours and teachers and administrators were instructed by the Naperville and Aurora Police Department along with trainers from ALICE.

“Law enforcement officials recommend as best practice that school personnel be trained in ALICE to respond to a threatening incident,” Superintendent Dr. Karen Sullivan said in a district wide email sent last Friday.

ALICE, an acronym for “alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate,” is the “#1 active shooter civilian response training for all organizations,” according to the official ALICE website. Local districts such as Oswego District 308 and McHenry District 155 have implemented it in an effort to improve school safety and prepare both teachers and students for an emergency situation.

“We are trying to be as proactive as possible and be prepared,” Assistant Principal Daniel DeBruycker said. “We’re using the best system that the district has brought in to educate our staff and in a way introduce to our students what we’re doing to prepare for the worst case scenario.”

The ALICE system differs from the previously implemented lockdown response to active shooters. It is a more active response on the behalf of students and staff to decrease the likelihood of harm. Techniques include barricading rooms, clearly informing building inhabitants, distracting a violent intruder, and evacuating the building when possible.

Information about the purpose of drills was shared with students last week, but students will not be participating in any drills. Students seeking more information regarding district safety procedures can refer to the Q&A section on the District 204 website or the ALICE website.

This article has been updated to reflect the fact that not all support staff attended ALICE training.