School helps students protect themselves against intruders


Mr. Rado demonstrates locking a door to keep out intruders. One of several new security improvements to the school made within the past year. Teacher KC Weaver said “It’s important that we’re prepared, to the best of our ability.”  Photo By Ian Campbell

Last fall the Oakwood School District adopted and implemented a new security drill called Alice Training. On Nov. 18, students participated in a drill during homeroom where Scott Yablonski, maintenance  worker, posed as an intruder. Teachers and students had to choose which action to take based on the intruder’s location.

“Overall, it was a positive experience, the route my class took was safe, ” Rodney Jones (9) said.

Alice Training was created by the Federal Homeland Security and intended for a workplace setting. It was intended to teach employees to fight, run, or barricade themselves away from hostile and possibly armed intruders. Alice stands for: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. In recent years many schools have adapted it to replace the lockdown drill that was used previously.

“I think [Alice Training is] a wonderful thing; I feel that it gives options that we didn’t have before. It allows you to make decisions in the moment. It prepares you to be able to make those decisions if you’re dealing with something that’s almost impossible to prepare for because the situation is different when someone is in the building and is a threat,” Teacher K.C. Weaver said.

Starting last fall the school implemented this new drill and had students practice various scenarios.  Earlier this fall, students barricaded themselves inside their homerooms. All the doors have a new locking mechanism to keep the doors shut in case of an emergency. 

“It’s nice knowing there’s a plan,” Paul Rosenbaum (12) said.

Alice Training gives students more knowledge and practice if something were to happen. Alice Training works both on the surface and on a deeper, psychological level. By teaching students what to do in a scenario such as an intruder, they will have a subconscious plan of what to do. However, some students feel that drills can only do so much.

“Sure they help, but how prepared would you ever really be for something like that? A drill where you barricade the door or run out is one thing, but if someone was actually in the school … things would be different,” Drumheller (12) said.

Since drills can only provide some preparation, staff and students must continue to plan their actions should such a situation arise.

Weaver said, “It’s not a fun thing to think about; I don’t like thinking about it. But I think it’s necessary thing to think about in this day and age with what’s going on in our country. So, it’s important that we’re prepared to the best of our ability.”

By Ian Campbell


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