Teachers, students undergo ALICE training


District 127 staff have started going through the ALICE training program. This program helps staff know how to act and what to do in case of an emergency. Staff started learning on September 2, when students had a half day of school.

“It’s basically to keep everybody informed, up to date on how to respond to a threat if it occurs in the school, trying to keep themselves safe and everybody else,” said school resource officer Mario Balarin.

ALICE has steps that allow teachers and staff to act quickly and know what decisions to make.

“So what ALICE means (is) A is alert. The L stands for lockdown. The I stands for inform. The C stands for counter. So if the bad guy or bad girl came in the building, you could counter, meaning you could fight back. It’s always our last resort though. E is evacuate the building. So, it’s all over. It’s not just in Illinois. A lot of states have adopted this, and it’s a way that gives students and staff members power to make decisions based on the information that they are receiving about an active intruder in the building,” said associate principal Megan Licht.

This is the first time that D127 is practicing ALICE training as other schools are also doing all over the country.

“It’s a very close relationship that we have to have to do ALICE training. You also have to be trained with the police department, so we had a lot of back and forth talks with the Grayslake police about how to best do this. I think to be more bluntly honest, more and more school shootings are happening around the world, and the way we did our lockdowns in the past was to sit and basically wait, and as we know in most school shootings, that is not effective at all,” Licht said.

The training the teachers and staff are undergoing involves specific events. This year’s safety drills are different than previous years in an effort to keep everyone safe and secure.

“Basically, if there’s an active shooter in the school, that’s where they evolve that from. How to basically learn that the traditional lockdown wasn’t a safe method to keep kids and adults safe, so this evolved, and so at this point in time, it’s better to act to ALICE routine to keep everybody safe the best that we can do, ” Balarin said.

As of now, teachers are still being trained. Students began their training during the week of September 26.

“There’s an actual website. If you just type ALICE training, there’s tons and tons of information. One of the other things that our school is going to be doing, it’s starting right now, (is) wiring. We are getting this new system called Blue Point. They are just like fire alarms but blue with a case on it in case of if we need to go into a lockdown. You’ll pull that, and it sets off, closes all the doors. It gives information to the police department that this building is in a lockdown. It actually shows where the person pulled because they have cameras in the building,” Licht said.