Manassas Park City Schools has adopted enhanced safety procedures that we, as well as the experts across the country, believe will increase the chance of survival should an armed intruder enter our schools. These enhanced procedures provide our staff and students additional response options by utilizing the ALICE approach.
Alert - Get the word out! Use clear, concise language to convey the type and location of the event
Lockdown - We will continue to lock down students when it is the best option
Inform - Communication allows for good decision-making
Counter - Apply skills to distract, confuse and gain control
Evacuate - Get out! Put distance between you and the intruder
In short, when faced with an armed intruder invading our secure area, we will use the ALICE approach to:
- Listen carefully to the location and type of event
- Get to and/or remain in a secure area until it is safe to evacuate
- Apply skills to distract, confuse and gain control should an armed intruder enter the area
- Evacuate as soon as it is safe
In No Way are we asking or teaching our students to make any attempt to subdue an armed intruder. However, we will provide them with options that can be applied if faced with a life or death situation to enhance their chances for survival. Some of the methods that will be taught, in the event they are confronted by an armed intruder are:
- Cause distractions to interfere with the ability to shoot accurately
- Cause as much chaos in the room as possible to create sensory overload
- Do not be a stationary target
- How to control the attacker using body weight
- Where to go once you have escaped, i.e. identified reunification point
- Do people need to follow ALICE in order? Are you supposed to Alert, then lockdown, then inform?
- Is the adoption of the ALICE Protocol an admission that the schools are not safe?
- If my child gets proactive in an emergency situation, couldn’t they get hurt?
- Is there a possibility of secondary attacks if people are trying to leave the area?
- Should we be teaching aggression in schools?
- How will parents be notified if their child’s school is in lockdown?
- Isn’t this what the police are for?
- Do we want the bad guy to know that we know where he is?
- Won’t proactive actions agitate the gunman to commit violence?
- Will teaching staff and students to be proactive increase our liability?
- Who should make the decision as to what is the best option to take?
- Won’t we lose control of the event if people make their own decision and do whatever they decide they need to do??
- Will MPPD be in schools to help teachers become aware of surrounding and provide scenarios/possibilities for an active shooter situation?
- Why change something that has always worked?
- Could we be training our future “enemy”?
- How will the information be presented to children at the Elementary and Middle School levels?
School Safety Coordinator
Advanced ALICE Certified, ALICE Certified Trainer
- ALICE Training Institute
- Readiness & Emergency Management for Schools
- Safe Schools: Assessing School Safety (Online Training Courses)
- Critical Incident Response Video (password: rsmaccess)
- National Incident Management System (NIMS) & Incident Command System (ICS)
- VA Department of Criminal Justice Services - School and Campus Safety