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ALICE could happen in Jasper County Schools

Program teaches students, teachers to react in the event of school shooting

Published: Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 12:17 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 12:19 p.m. CDT

To protect both its employees and students, the Newton school district is willing to do whatever it can. The most recent effort being considered is Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate training better known as ALICE. The training is considered controversial because of the “C” portion of the acronym.

With ALICE training, students and teachers are taught to defend themselves from an active shooter by any means necessary. If all a person has is a pencil, he or she is taught to use it, as well as to throw books and use anything in the classroom into a weapon.

The program is still in the early stages for possible implementation in any of the Jasper County school districts, but on March 6 there will be a countywide meeting for all the area districts and local law enforcement officials. Newton Community School District Superintendent Steve McDermott said the program will be discussed more during the school board meeting at 6 p.m. Monday.

“Recently we have learned that several schools are going to this approach, in terms of emergency planning of active shooters,” McDermott said. “We do have local law enforcement officers that are trainers with that approach, and the program has been in existence for about 10 years. And we believe that it is one that will serve us well here, especially given that we have local trainers that understand our local needs, our local culture and our local facilities. We are looking at this on a county-wide approach if at all possible.”

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at trushing@newtondailynews.com.

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