ALICE drills replace fire drills

Khadija Ceesay, Opinion Editor

A.L.I.C.E infographicThis year, the Olathe district has decided to increase the number of ALICE drills and in order for students to practice what to do if an armed intruder were to enter the school. 

ALICE stands for Alert, Locate, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. 

The process of ALICE is practically the same procedure the district had years before, but with more opportunities for students to fight back if a school threat was to arise. 

Because of the increase for ALICE, there has been a decrease to the number of fire drills the district will enforce. 

The drill increase is part of state law that went active in July of this year to strengthen the success of student safety.

Although there are no changes on what to do if the issue ever arises, there will be instances where the school will be practicing actual drills to be best prepared. 

There have also been questions on what to do if the problem arose during Falcon 50. 

Clint Albers, principal, said “Falcon 50 would be no different than an ALICE situation happening during passing period or seminar.” 

He pointed out that each student would have to know whether to hide safely in a nearby classroom or leave through the nearest exit, and that this is why there will be drills practiced down the road and more talks on safety. 

The Olathe school district adopted ALICE after a District Safety Director saw it as a more effective kind of practice than the one that had been enforced before. 

While talking about ALICE, there may be an increase in student reactions such as anxiety and panic. 

Albers comments that the goal of the drills is not to frighten students but to prepare them for whatever may occur and give them a sense of security. 

“These aren’t full fledge drills, just talk throughs and drills so students are comfortable with the procedures. If any student has anxiety about it they and come to us and we can work through it to make them feel comfortable.”

The point of ALICE is to keep students aware of the society we live in today and to best prepare them if the issue ever occurred.