School officials train for shooting incident

School officials train for shooting incident

In a spooky scene reminiscent of real ones that played out at an Oregon high school this week, a Seattle college last week and a California campus last month, a "shooter" takes aim during a safety training session Thursday at Champaign's Garden Hills Elementary.

It was only a drill — but a chilling one — that was put on for Champaign and Urbana school administrators by an Ohio-based critical incident response training company.

Come fall, both C-U public school districts will join Unity and St. Joseph-Ogden high schools, who adopted the ALICE program after going through similar training in December.

ALICE — an acronym that stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate — is designed to give a victim options in an active shooter situation in a public place.

Here is Tim Ditman's report on Thursday's session for WDWS-AM.

From our archives

Read Patrick Wade's behind-the-scenes story from an ALICE training day held in December for area schools and law enforcement.

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Skepticity wrote on June 13, 2014 at 11:06 am

These pictures of educators hiding behind chairs or doing a "duck and cover" in the face of an assailant armed with a gun are really sad.  I would hate to think that this is the way educators are to protect children in schools in the event of an armed school assault. 

How about a trained, armed educator pulling the trigger as the assailant enters the room?  That would send a clear message to those who would attack our schools. 

Tim Ditman wrote on June 13, 2014 at 3:06 pm
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Thanks for your comment.  Those photos are from a scenario which represents what many educators do now.  Another scenario was run shortly after which included a more active response.  That's the strategy that is being pushed currently.  My report linked above goes into more detail.

Skepticity wrote on June 13, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Thank you for pointing that out.  I posted based on the photos and text, but at the time I posted I had not yet listened to your report or read the attached article. It would have been good if the photos had been labled to reflect that they represented a failed scenario. 

Short of arming educators, which is not at all likely in Champaign County, Illinois, this program sounds like a realistic way to improve survival in such a situation. 

Empowering instructors and capable youths to run or to counter the assailant sounds like a good plan. 

I am pleased that this is being offered as an alternative to passively awaiting execution. 

Dogchakra wrote on June 13, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Funny, in all the photos and video, I only see administrators. No teachers. Unit 4 teachers weren't even told about this. I suppose they only wanted to pay for admin to get training to save money. If the "Melon-heads" plan on training the teachers, oh brother. 

Yankee_Doodle wrote on June 13, 2014 at 9:06 pm

If any school admistrator or teacher even thinks for a minute that a plastic wooden or even metal chair is going to stop a projectile then THEY need to go to school and get some basic ballistics training. This level of ignore about firearms and the capabilities of their projectiles gets people injured and killed everyday outside of the classroom. If more people had a basic eduction in these areas they be far less fearful and much safer.

I still find it disheartening that so few administrators and teachers are will to learn how to use firearms in defense of their students and themselves. If the option to escape is available, that's a great strategy but if it not what is the fallback plan? Cower in fear and wait like a lamb for the slaughter. Firearms are not the tool but they are one and the more tools available to those in danger the more likely they will get through the assault alive.


Dogchakra wrote on June 14, 2014 at 3:06 pm

I know a few teachers who think about having their backs turned to a class of 30+ students while wearing a sidearm. I know a few teachers who worry about accidentally shooting a student. Who's going to pay for the training? Who's going to pay for the guns and ammo? When are the teachers supposed to find the time to get trained? Teachers are already maxed out on the number of hats they wear. The last thing they need is to be forced to wear an "armed guard" hat while being told that they get paid "too much". I imagine a stray bullet in a students face or failure to stop an assailant would be grounds for a whole new level of teacher demonization.

Skepticity wrote on June 15, 2014 at 9:06 am

Any teacher opposed to it should certainly not be forced to train with firearms.  They would be ineffective in an emergency and generally a danger to themselves and others.  Only a teacher who is willing, and appropriately trained and recertified regularly should be considered for such a role. 

The safety training being offered seems more appropriate for educators in general. 

Those who would not voluntarily seek firearms training should not be required to be armed.