By Ryan Dean
HAZELWOOD, Mo. (KSDK) - The Hazelwood School District is considering adopting new procedures to train students how to handle an active shooter situation. This comes less than a week after the Newtown school shootings in Connecticut.
Hazelwood officials are consulting with area police departments on adopting a program called Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate (ALICE).
The program was developed by former SWAT officer Greg Crane of Texas. He believes the lockdown protocol many schools have in place in the event of an armed intruder, is not the best practice.
"I think people need to be equipped and empowered during the situations where they can start making their own decisions on what is going to offer them their best survival options. What those options are prepare you with the mental tool box with strategies and things they can do to increase survival," Crane said.
Crane says many lockdown systems schools use at present involve students being locked in a classroom waiting for police to arrive. Crane says in many cases police can't get to a school before the shooting is over. His system doesn't tell students how they have to react, but gives them a variety of options in hopes of surviving such an event.
"We don't dismiss securing in place (lockdown) as a viable option; we just don't believe it should be the only option," Crane says.
Crane feels if students have a chance to escape a active shooter situation, by getting outside, they should, instead of being locked down.
Crane also teaches students about becoming a harder target: including throwing items, moving about, creating confusion for the shooter.
"People say that is going to be chaos. I want to see chaos. Chaos is a difficult environment to work in," Crane says. "But when I'm just sitting on the floor, and my 20 partners (classmates) are sitting on the floor, how difficult is that for him (shooter)."
The Hazelwood School District says it will consider all feedback from local police before deciding to implement such a program.
ALICE does have its critics, especially pertaining to the counter teachings.
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