Students practice new ALICE training

Prem Chandrasekar, Managing Editor

Students at Naperville Central practiced the ALICE system on Nov. 1 during seventh period.

ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, is the new lockdown policy across District 203.

“There was a short video that students watched that emphasized the best way to barricade in a classroom setting, and then they practiced that,” Principal Bill Wiesbrook said.

Teachers discussed the best way to barricade their room and had the students practice it. 

“We wound up barricading the door handle with a ring stand that had been delivered to each room by our department, and then we brought lab tables and chairs over to the door in order to barricade it that way,” Physics teacher Thomas Sanoshy said. 

 The system, which replaced the old lockdown policy last year, allows teachers and students to assess a threat and do what is best for them in the event of a dangerous situation. 

“The old system was [that] if there was a concerning situation, everyone should get into a room and lock the door…teachers weren’t getting enough information about the situation,” Wiesbrook said. “The ALICE system encourages as much detail as you can, such as ‘there’s a person with a gun in the field house, we’re getting in the ALICE system’ and gives them choices on what to do next to keep the students safe.”

These choices range from evacuating the building or locking the door and barricading it with objects in the room.

“Given the scenario of if there was a shooter in the field house, people in the flatwing have the option of evacuating the school and maybe a teacher in a room near the fieldhouse or people in an office near the fieldhouse would assess that it’s too risky to evacuate so it would be better to barricade the room,” Wiesbrook said. “The ALICE system even gives the option of countering the intruder if they get into a space with people.”

Sophomore Anna Chi, who was in her AP U.S. History class during the practice, agrees that adding the new system adds a new level of protection against intruders.

“It’s more effective than what we had before because when we just locked down, it didn’t protect us against intruders…it was ‘you hide there and if something happens, you can’t prevent it’,” Chi said. “With ALICE training, you’re trying to barricade the doors instead of just locking and hiding away.”

Central is planning to have more ALICE training throughout the school year with the hope of preparing students if a dangerous situation were to happen.

“Being trained in what is currently the best practice for these terrible events is always better,” Sanoshy said, adding that he thinks “being trained and knowing your options is always better than being uninformed and unprepared.”