INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - More teachers and students at metro schools are learning how to fight back. This summer, local police departments including Independence and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department are teaching school administrators a new active shooter training program called A.L.I.C.E, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.
"When you look at everything from Sandy Hook and then many years ago Columbine, and the thought process has always been lock your classroom and really take a passive role and unfortunately, we've seen how a lot of those things have turned out," Independence School District Superintendent Dale Herl said.
Police departments will advise teachers how to take a more proactive role in an active shooter situation. School employees from Independence will learn how to barricade doors, evacuate classrooms and help create a plan where students can fight or launch books at an attacker.
"Rather than just hiding and waiting for the situation to come to you, it gives them the authority to assess the situation.” Herl said.
Director of Public Safety David Lampken said the A.L.I.C.E. training will simply enhance the plans already in place. Now, during an emergency, teachers are encouraged to turn off the lights and lock the doors. With the new training, students and teachers could put together a plan to stop the shooter by throwing books on them, jumping on them or leaving.
"They can break out a window if they're on the ground floor and escape out the window and go to their evacuation point. All the training is building specific so where they are at in the building they will then have the tools to decide 'What am I going to do in this kind of situation?'" Lampken said.
The Independence School District will offer the A.L.I.C.E. training session to school administrators and other people in the community including church, hospital and workplace administrators and employees. The training is $495 per person.
While the Independence School District isn’t providing teachers with a bump in pay for their self-defense responsibilities, they are arming teachers with a new plan for safety.
"Anytime you have a situation where people's safety is at risk, I don't think you're ever paid enough. So this is really about ensuring that our students and our staff have the best chance to be safe and to make the best out of bad situation," Herl said.