In the past, students in grade school and high school spend a day or two every year practicing how to get to safety during a fire or a tornado. In 2015, students go through active shooter training. Columbia Public School students go through multiple active shooter drills every school year.
“It’s so important that we do a lot of training for our students and our staff, so they don’t even have to think about what to do, they just know exactly what needs to happen,” said Michelle Baumstark with Columbia Public Schools.
The FBI reports 24 school shootings took place in elementary through high school between 2000 and 2013.
Local authorities are teaching students how to quickly react during the life or death situation of an active shooter.
“One of the things we can teach them is to counter what may be going on. If someone comes through the door meaning to do you harm, what can you do? Can you escape through a window? Can you, as a group, counter what that person is doing?” said Sgt. Lance Robbins with the Boone County Sheriffs Department.
Robbins teaches students the ALICE active shooter program. ALICE is an acronym that stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. It used by CPS and it presents students with a list of options for how to survive an attack.
“We do want our students to have a plan in their heads of what needs to happen depending on where that individual is in the school building, where the situation is occurring, what is happening in that building at that given time,” said Baumstark.
The ALICE active shooter program was created after the Columbine shooting in 1999. It’s the brainchild of a law enforcement officer whose wife was an elementary school principal.