DUBUQUE, Iowa - Wednesday's shooting at Fort Hood once again highlights the importance of preparing for the unthinkable.
Last summer teachers at Holy Family Catholic Schools in Dubuque took part in ALICE training. ALICE stands for Alert, Lock-down, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. Law enforcement uses that method to train for situations like a gunman opening fire at a school.
Like any typical day at Mazzuchelli Catholic Middle School. Teacher, Jill Hohman hands her student's Algebra tests.
Until a call comes over the P. A. System. Administrators announce a lockdown drill.
Teachers turn off the lights.Students swiftly squat under desks and hover in the corners of the classroom. From the hallway, the room looks empty.
Holy Family Chief Administrator Carol Trueg said, "If there is an intruder we don't want them to know that there are potential victims in certain rooms. "
After a couple minutes. students return to their desks and discuss potential lock down scenarios. Administrators says this discussion is the most critical part.
"This is meant to give teachers and students more tools for whatever situations may arise," said Trueg.
In the case of a real intruder, administrators would plan to announce more specific information that could help students make a quick decision.
"There's an intruder on the second floor hallway east. So that those who are on 3rd floor west can say, "I can make an exit now. It's safe" "
Once out of the building, students are directed to get away and search for a police officer.
Administrators hope a plan equals the ability to make a calm and quick decision.