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School Safety

School Safety

Over the past several years, there has been a dramatic increase in school violence and school shootings. As the experts analyze these horrific events it is apparent that we need to do more, not only taking steps in an attempt to prevent the event from occurring but training students and staff on procedures that we all need to survive an active shooter in our schools.

If you look at what has occurred throughout the country it is evident that if an armed intruder wants to get into any building, they probably will succeed. The fact is, even though the Rock Island-Milan School District has is taken steps to secure our school buildings, the possibility of an intruder entering is still there.

In the past, schools across the country have addressed this possibility with a method called “Lockdown.” In the event an unauthorized person enters the school buildings or grounds, a Lockdown alert is given and students and staff are instructed to lock their classroom, turn out the lights and hide in a far corner of the room, while remaining calm and quiet.

History has shown while Lockdown can be an effective tool in some cases, it is not the only useful tool. This is supported by the number of students that have been killed or seriously wounded during school shootings while hiding under a desk or huddled up in a corner of a classroom. Knowing what we know about active shooters in school buildings and other public places, RIMSD wants to give students and staff a greater chance of surviving an active shooter by providing more options.

The Rock Island-Milan School District has adopted a policy and procedure that is believed to increase the chance of survival during an active shooter incident. This new procedure will teach our staff and students additional response options by utilizing the A.L.I.C.E. approach.

  • Alert! Get the word out!
  • Lockdown! Good starting point, allows aggressive use of current technology and procedures to:
  • Inform! Communication keeps the intruder off balance, and knowledge empowers occupants to increase survivability
  • Counter! Apply skills to distract, confuse, and gain control
  • Evacuate! To reduce the number of potential targets for the intruder, and reduce the chances of victims resulting from friendly fire when help arrives

In short, when faced with an armed intruder invading our secure area, we will use the A.L.I.C.E. approach to:
 
  • Listen carefully to the location and type of event.
  • Get to and/or remain in a secure area until it is safe to evacuate.
  • Apply skills to distract, confuse and gain control should an armed intruder enter the area.
  • Evacuate as soon as it is safe.
 

In no way are we asking or teaching our students to make any attempt to subdue an armed intruder outside of their secure area. However, we will provide them with options that can be applied if faced with a life or death situation to enhance their chances for survival.

If you would like more information about A.L.I.C.E. training, email an A.L.I.C.E. team member:
 
  • Mike Nitzel, Principal, Thomas Jefferson Elementary
  • Dail Rice, School Counselor
  • Charles Butler, Head of Security, Rock Island High School
  • Detective Ben Meiresonne, Rock Island Police Department & School Liaison Officer
  • Officer Dave Perry, Rock Island Police Department & School Resource Officer