Teachers Learn New Ways to Protect Students
By Heather Hubbs, Reporter
MARION, Iowa - As kids head back to classroom this week, teachers have already learned a lesson in student safety. Many eastern Iowa schools are relying on a new, realistic training to keep kids safe. It's training they hope they'll never have to use, learning what to do if a shooter were to ever walk through the doors of one the schools in the district.
In Marion, the school district teamed up with Marion police for ALICE training. That stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. Marion police put teachers through some pretty intense and realistic scenarios. They even had a mock intruder carrying an air soft gun and starter pistol.
Until now, Marion schools emergency plan for an intruder was just to lockdown the classroom and wait. Police say this makes teachers and students easy targets for a shooter. ALICE on the other hand gives staff a variety of ways to protect students and themselves so they can choose the best course of action in any scenario.
"When you go through scenarios like that you always look back and think, what could I have done differently. By putting them through these scenarios and inducing stress it's forcing them to think at that level and hopefully they'll do better next time," said Sgt. Brian Heinricy, Marion Police Department.
Staff at every building received ALICE training in the days leading up to the start of school. ALICE isn't just for schools however, police say these tactics could be used anywhere to help increase survivability during active shooter situations.
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