Patriot Perspective: Safe schools are top priority in Pequot Lakes
After a review of our current practices, discussion on alternative procedures and consultation with our school resource officer, the Pequot Lakes School District recommitted to the ALICE training response program.
The top priority of the Pequot Lakes School District is to ensure the safety and security of our students and staff.
Over the years, we have taken great steps in securing our schools: (1) secure entrances at each building entrance; (2) visitor check-in and badging system at school office entrances; (3) investment in additional cameras with higher-quality images; (4) locking exterior doors when supervision isn’t present; and (5) maintaining a relationship with the city of Pequot Lakes to hire a school resource officer.
One area school district staff reviewed recently was lockdown procedures. After a review of our current practices, discussion on alternative procedures and consultation with our school resource officer, the district recommitted to the ALICE training response program.
ALICE is a response training to empower people to make decisions during an emergency, especially an active intruder. The ALICE response system can also be implemented during medical emergencies and responding to circumstances occurring off-campus.
Consider the following:
Alert: We will get the word out using clear, concise language and describe the location of the event.
Lockdown: This is still a good starting point. The lockdown will include locking the door but also barricading to deny entry.
Inform: Continual communication keeping the staff and students informed allows for good decision making.
Counter: If evacuation and/or lockdown are not possible, countering may be appropriate (considering age and physical ability).
Evacuate: If possible, move to a safe area.
The ALICE protocol emphasizes the need for proactive, option-based strategies for emergency situations. Sheri Fyle, school resource officer, recently attended a two-day ALICE certification training, and school district staff have implemented age-level appropriate plans to work with students on ALICE strategies.
More information can be found on the ALICE website at www.alicetraining.com.
Kurt Stumpf is Pequot Lakes School District interim superintendent.