Despite the massacres at Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook, despite President Trump’s pledge to remove concealed carry restrictions from schools on “day one,” most American schools remain “gun-free zones.” Parents, teachers, administrators and school employees remain disarmed under Bush the Elder’s Gun Free School Zone Act of 1990. And yet there is some good news when it comes to protecting our school children from criminals, crazies and terrorists . . .

ALICE Training (as above) is based on a simple recipe: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. Judging by their training calendar, the program has popular support across the country. Well, the Midwest and South.

Yet even in these conservative enclaves, and certainly on the left-leaning coasts, educators take exception to the “counter” part of the program. The bit where students are taught to barricade, attack an assailant with thrown objects, scream and run around in a zigzag pattern, if the bad guy(s) enters the classroom and more.

Strangely, the “debate” centers mostly on the supposedly negative psychological effects of ALICE training on young minds. Do Schools’ ‘Active-Shooter’ Drills Prepare or Frighten? edweek.org asks. A different Trump reckons it’s the latter:

Outspoken school safety consultant Kenneth Trump, who regularly writes about ALICE training, says it’s not supported by evidence and “preys on the emotions of today’s active shooter frenzy that is spreading across the nation.” Trump and other critics say schools shouldn’t train young children in the ALICE response when school shootings, typically the focus of such drills, are statistically rare.

Where’s the evidence that “shelter in place” works? You’d think Sandy Hook would’ve put paid to that theory. And the possibility of an active shooter at school is not so rare that Uncle Sam hasn’t issued federal guidelines for dealing with the threat.

The bureaucratic behemoth known as the DOE is all over it. And some of their guideline recommend active measures against active shooters — at least for teachers.

A 2013 federal report, created in response to Sandy Hook, outlined a safety response that called on school staff to “consider trying to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter by using aggressive force and items in their environment, such as fire extinguishers, and chairs.” It didn’t advocate involving students.

That report, released by the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of a group of federal agencies, drew concern from some school safety consultants who said such a “run, hide, fight” approach is unproven by research and may even be dangerous in the event of an actual shooting.

Common sense and recent history suggest that remaining completely passive against an active shooter, waiting for the police to eliminate the threat, is far more dangerous than doing, well, something. To its credit, edweek.org ends on a pro-ALICE note:

Some parents and teachers say responses like ALICE ease their fears that children would be “sitting ducks” in a shooting situation.

After Matt Holland, a 3rd-grade teacher in Alexandria, Va., learned about ALICE in his own staff training this summer, he called his 7-year-old daughter’s school in a neighboring district to ask leaders to transition away from a lockdown approach.

“While, yes, statistically speaking, the chances [of a shooting] are very slim,” Holland said, “I don’t want, heaven forbid, something to happen to my students or my daughter and to say, ‘There was a small chance it would happen, and it happened. And no one ever planned for it.’ “

ALICE and its ilk aren’t as effective answers to a lethal threat on school grounds as allowing teachers, administrators or school employees to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms at work. But it’s better than nothing.

32 Responses to Educators Balking at Active Response to Active Shooters

  1. Negative psychological effects on children of ALICE training? uh–WHAT? When I was a kid we had tornado drills, filing out into the halls to cower and cover our heads. I bet they still do it today–because staying in a classroom with windows is extremely dangerous. We had fire drills. And although my schools did not have them, my wife’s schools had nuclear “duck and cover” drills. I don’t remember being scared by any of these drills.

    • They didn’t even bother with “Duck and cover” drills in the schools where I grew up.

      Being on USAF military bases we knew the utter futility of that bullshit when literal “Ground Zero” was never further than *maybe* two miles maximum from any point on that air base. And since that’s a high-value target, we could expect 1 MT as a *minimum* if we were ever hit. Not much you can do when when you’re *inside* the projected fireball.

      Oh, yeah, that article –

      “…says it’s not supported by evidence and “preys on the emotions of today’s active shooter frenzy that is spreading across the nation.”

      That’s rich. Those who work best with playing with people’s emotions are suddenly concerned with it now…

  2. So preparing individuals to deal with (albeit statistically rare) violent encounters is paranoid? But, proposing dubious “common sense gun reform” to deal with (albeit statistically rare) violent encounters…is sensible

    Got it.

  3. Can’t teach the kids to fight back. That might instill the value of self defense. We couldn’t have that now, could we?

    • Under schools’ “no tolerance” policies, fighting will get you expelled–even if you are only defending yourself. Violence is bad, m’kay?

  4. Education, modern, n, a multi-year program of regimented activity and conditioning to create people who operate at your discretion. Contrast with

    Education, classical, n, a multi-year program of skills-building, knowledge acquisition and cultivation to create people who operate at their own.

  5. Maybe if they suggested classrooms urinating or vomiting in unison, there would be better lefty buy-in to the “counter” step.

  6. So making kids tear around a classroom screaming like banshees, shoving desks and chairs around for barricades, throwing things, etc. is going to have a negative psychological effect on them? Most kids would love to be allowed to do that!

  7. I suspect the same educators would seek to punish a student or staff member who injured or killed a mass murderer in the process of terminating his attack.

  8. The “says it’s not supported by evidence” claim is based on people claiming it’s not supported by evidence and that shelter in place is supported by the evidence as the best method. And, technically, an “expert’s” opinion is evidence. It’s just not enough evidence for me to base any conclusions on.

    First off, there aren’t enough school shootings to have a large enough sample size to say, with any statistical certainty, what is the best way for unarmed students to stay safe in these situations.

    We can say what number of shooters give up when someone fights back. I don’t remember the numbers, but it’s a lot of them. We can also look at FBI statistics that say the best way to stay safe in the face of a violent attack is to shoot the bastard. We can look at the other means of staying safe in those situations. (Running, hiding, fighting back with other means, and complying). I can’t recommend complying with a school shooter.

  9. Well, there it is.

    The stupidest f*cking think I’ve read all day. Teaching children to try and scatter so that only some of them die instead of coming up with an actually affection solution’s.

  10. I was a child in the 50’s, when “Duck and cover” was the meme for the fireball which suddenly appeared out of nowhere. And to just where should we “duck and cover” from this humongous fireball? Under our WOODEN desks! I always thought that the best thing to do was to bend over, put your head between your legs, and then kiss your ass “Goodbye” rather than pollute perfectly good charcoal – but what do I know?

    One thing that I DO know (or at least makes sense to this old retired cop) is Wayne LaPierre’s admonition that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a GOOD guy with a gun.” There’s a bit of common-sense wisdom which should be engraved in the halls of Congress.

  11. In MATOON,Illinois today a 40 year old female teacher stopped a deranged male freshman after he shot another kid. Home school people…

  12. While I think that there are clearly better solutions I’d point out something about this which is reflective of how screwed up our school system and society actually are:

    We cannot train someone to do something *effective* because the training is “dangerous” on some level. We’ve gone past full retard at that point. But the really oddball part of it is how what’s “too dangerous” is selected.

    No one says we should train a teenager to drive but driving is, statistically, one of the most dangerous things we do on a daily basis. However, we can’t have shop classes or high school rifle teams because that’s “too dangerous”. Which is effectively saying that we have two “classes” of activity. One class is dangerous but we teach kids to do these things in a manner that is as safe as possible because that’s just common sense and no one has an overly emo reaction to it.

    On the other hand we just figure that if Johnny picks up a circular saw or a handgun or maybe tries to run a drill press, well fuck training him to use that safely, he’ll probably just figure it out but if he doesn’t whatever because actually training him in the safe operation of that tool is too fucking scary/dangerous/something.

    What’s really scary is the wide range of items people *should* be taught to use safely but are not because some idiot administrator or “intellectual” parent wets their pants at the thought of someone using a tool that’s too dangerous for anyone to even be trained to use… which makes no goddamn sense whatsoever.

    Proof positive that a large number of people in this country are functionally retarded. Maybe not clinically retarded but they sure act like the best job they should ever get is sweeping the floor at McD’s. It’s almost like their reaction is based on PPE. “If my kid has to wear safety glasses he ain’t doin’ it!” seems to be the dividing line.

    • “because some idiot administrator or “intellectual” parent wets their pants at the thought of someone using a tool that’s too dangerous for anyone to even be trained to use” – This is the reason right here. Almost everyone in America uses cars. Even though cars are way more dangerous than anything else we use, people aren’t afraid of them because they are familiar with them. If everyone grew up around and using guns and shop tools, no one would be afraid of them.

      • It’s a snake eating its tail. Soon we’ll be screwed.

        Training is too dangerous —> Little to no training available—> People are not trained —> Use of tool actually is dangerous because user is untrained —> We need rules to make things safer —> Training isn’t 100% safe —>Training is too dangerous —> Less training available—> People are not trained.

        Rinse/repeat.

        • I look at the upside on that.

          They won’t even try, so that’s job security for those of us who can read gauges, accurately measure things, run a TIG, use an oscilloscope, spring compressors for McPherson struts, etc.

          So many have been sold on the lie that only with a degree can one make a decent living. There’s a guy two doors down from my dad who has a lawn mowing service. With three employees, he lives comfortably in a 400,000 house with all the standard southern toys like boats, etc.

        • If I had to do it all over, I’d drop out of high school at 16, get a GED, get a two year process operator degree, get a job as a process operator, and retire by my early thirties making more money on investments per year than I spent each year while working. And that’s true if I went with an annuity instead of something with more risk and higher returns.

        • What you say is true but what worries me is that the supply of people who can get anything useful done is dwindling.

          At a certain point you simply don’t have the people to take care of what needs taken care of and then things really start to go downhill.

  13. Hows about we arm teachers? Oh wait can’t have that…. Ok let’s collect up some of our veterans, former cops, concealed carry instructors, and so on and hire them as armed school security. Still a no? Well teach the lil animals IMT and let em 3-5 second rush and low crawl to safety… Yeah cause you know that’s totally what the military and police do when shot at yeah we don’t even shoot back we just throw rocks.

  14. I just hope that the next school shooter maggot has a stainless steel hardon for school administrators exclusively, instead of students.

    • Ralph – I’m going to hope that the next school shooter is confronted by someone with a firearm which is legally or illegally in the school and is shot right in the face with what few brains he has blown out the back of his skull.

      Can I get an “Amen!”?

  15. Presidents do not have the power to change the Constitution in any way. Only an Article V. amendment can change, or amend, the Constitution. We the People had the responsibility for stopping Bush’s Act to prevent weapons in schools, He did not have the power to change the Second Amendment which clearly orders that no-one has the power to “infringe” on anyone’s right to “keep and bear arms”. Committing crimes is illegal, keeping arms to bear in your own defense is legal because the Constitution is the law set upon which our entire System of Laws is founded.

    Everyone is entitled to keep and bear arms without limitation and anywhere they feel that they need to carry them in order that they may have them should the need to protect our Constitution and our country from “all enemies both foreign and domestic” arise unexpectedly.

    The Framers provided the Second Amendment so that all men would be armed and ready should we come under attack by a domestic enemy, those serving as our government who have run amok of the Constitution and become self-serving of their illegal gains from falling to unguarded temptations for which their are no penalties for abuse and ignoring their Oaths and the responsibilities so readily accepted at election time and ignored the minute they were sworn in to continue those ill-gotten gains.

    The Framers gave us the tools to get rid of those we had elected but failed to serve us. Those are term lengths. When a person serves illegally and poorly in a position of trust and importance to us and to our country, we all are responsible for electing a new person to serve in that position at the earliest possible time.

    The next time we all must vote for new candidates is in 2018. Get rid of every member of the House and one-third of the Senate in 2018 and one-third in each of the next two elections. We must drain the swamp for President Trump and refuse to reelect anyone. THEN, we must each make the time to stay involved in the business of our government and insist that those we elect serve honorably, honestly and patriotically or they will never be reelected.

  16. I do know of a school district near me that publicly announced that teachers who had c.c. permits could choose to be armed in the classroom, during the Obama administration. I’ve assumed other school districts just didn’t want to take out an ad in the newspaper by giving out information. Heck, I bank at a credit union, three employees are permit holders, I just don’t know if they carry at work. I haven’t asked.

    I’ve raised two kids in the public school system, which chose to teach something along the lines of “ALICE”. Didn’t seem to harm their psyche So, those are my “in house experts.”.

  17. In the mid 1960’s my mother went back to work as a teacher. She had to do semester of practice teaching to get her teaching license back. Of course it was in a town with a longstanding gang problem, even back then. A male teacher told her a story of how he had been accosted by one of his yoots in the parking lot. The yoot pulled a knife on him. She asked him what did he do. He said “I pulled out my own knife. It was bigger. He backed down.” This was in NY, by the way, when everyone carried a knife and gravity knives were legal. Few teachers like he or she are left. My mother was definitely not a gun owner, but she could and did hit a kid right between the eyes with a piece of chalk when she wanted him to stop throwing things in class. So much fail in today’s schools.

  18. If that’s a “Leftist P/O ” performing this so called ALICE training. Then he needs to turn in his pistol. If IT’S NOT available to a citizen (via 2nd amendment). Then it SHOULDN’T be available to him (via the 14th amendment.) Its mighty BIG of someone giving so called ALICE training to citizens (sheeple). By a Paramilitarizied government official who is armed with a sidearm, a radio, and the “thin-blue line behind him….”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *