Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst

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NORTH ZULCH — Last week North Zulch ISD had staff and faculty receive ALICE Training. The training is to prepare the schools in the event of an active shooter on campus.

“Hopefully we don’t need this, but if we do we will save a lot of lives.” said North Zulch Principal Rick Panter. “We want to stay ahead of the curve, and keep staff and students safe.”

ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. According to the website, ALICE Training will “provide preparation and a plan for individuals and organizations on how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event.”

Three officers from the College Station Police Department came to the North Zulch campus to train. Sgt. Sean Beatty and officers Robert Shumaker and Jay Matush presented the audience with information, statistics and the best way to handle an aggressive intruder.

According to the training, the acronym stands for:

•Alert means exactly what you think. You need to yell, or find any way to safely alert anyone, every one of the situation.

•Lockdown is for when you are in an area that cannot be evacuated. Locking down means more than just locking the door, but rather barricade the door with anything in the room. When possible leave the vicinity for a safe location

•Inform means you need to notify authorities, and describe the intruders looks and location. When you are speaking with the police officers use plain English.

•When all other options have been exhausted a victim should counter the attack. There is no such thing as dirty fighting in these situations. This is survival. You should kick, bite, scratch, use any means to stay alive.

An active shooter wants to kill, and cannot be reasoned. The best chance is if a group can overwhelm the intruder, and incapacitate him.

•Everyone should evacuate the premises, as soon as exiting is safe.

The action began after the presentation, as police officers simulated different active shooter situations.

The faculty and staff donned paintball gear to protect them from the pellet guns used in the simulation. The officers walked down the halls with airsoft pistols acting as an aggressive intruder.

The teachers had to quickly act to the PA messages saying, “there is an active shooter.” They practiced barricading the door, and then worked on trying to overpower the shooter.

Shumaker said, “No place or person is immune to (an active shooting event).”

North Zulch is not new to the threat of a weapon on campus. Last year a student came to school with a handgun, but the staff were notified and acted. The student was identified and removed without incident.

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