Oak Harbor students, staff learn ALICE - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Oak Harbor students, staff learn ALICE

OAK HARBOR, OH (Toledo News Now) -

With a new school year right around the corner, local schools are being proactive in getting ready for anything, including worst-case scenarios.

Students and staff at Oak Harbor schools learned about the ALICE training program Wednesday.

School shootings, like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut last year, are still on the minds of many parents. Most districts have developed lockdown plans, or hired school resource officers. Some are taking it a step further.

"Rather than the traditional lockdown approach, which schools have typically taken, the ALICE concepts and philosophies will be able to empower our students and staff to save lives," said Guy Parmigian, superintendent of Benton-Carroll-Salem Schools.

ALICE – Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate – was created by a former SWAT officer after the Columbine shooting in 1999. The most unique part of the program is the ‘counter' concept.

"If all else fails, if we can't evacuate kids, then we're going to empower teachers and students to fight back," Parmigian said. "If a teacher needs to make a judgment that, ‘You know what, I need to break my window to evacuate my kids,' then they're empowered to do that. Barricading doors, throwing books. Instead of just sitting and locking down, we're empowering kids and telling them, ‘Hey, there's something that you could possibly do to save your life.'"

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