ALICE; no she’s not a student at Princeton High School (PHS), but a new initiative to keep students at Princeton City Schools safe. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. It’s a required safety procedure new to the Princeton School District that all staff and administration must know. ALICE was designed after multiple school shootings across the country.
In this program, administrators and teachers are trained. When an intruder comes into the building, teachers are taught to fight back. Informing people that there is an intruder is the first step to fighting back. Administrators are expected to get on the announcements and announce that there is an intruder in the building. Administrators also have the ability to close the steel doors in each wing from their cellular phones.
“In the event that an intruder comes in, mug him,” says Building Principal, Charles Ogdan.
ALICE Instructors teach teachers and administrators to throw anything at the intruder to protect themselves and their students from the intruder. Everything is considered a weapon.
“Think on your feet and make the best decision,” said Ogdan.
The old lockdowns that Princeton used in previous years called for students and teachers to stay put in the corner of the classroom, shut the blinds, and lock the door. This training has a different mentality. The main idea is to get out of the building as quickly as you can. This includes breaking a window and jumping out. More students are most likely to be injured or killed staying in the area where the intruder is. Getting out of the building is the safest option.
“There is no 100% full-proof plan,” says Ogdan.
Princeton feels safer that they have this plan in place, but hope that they never have to use it. Kids are recommended to be ALICE trained so that if an incident may occur, people know how to react; there will be less chaos. The more people are informed, the better chance that people will not be injured or killed.
“The most important part is informing people. If there’s an intruder in the building, we want someone to get onto the PA and say what’s going on so that people can make informed decisions on what they should do,” said Price.
In case of an intruder coming into the school, PHS has supplied each classroom with a “Go Bucket” to prepare students and teachers for the worst.
“Go Buckets give you options,” says Ogdan.
There are a variety of supplies in the “Go Buckets.” Items included are: bottles of water, snacks, a hammer, and more. Teachers are also urged to put in their own personal items that they think are appropriate for their classroom. It also doubles as a toilet if needed. In case of an emergency, PHS is adequately prepared to protect its’ students.