Jump! Run! Fight!

Abington students receive ALICE Training

Tony Dao exiting through a window.

Alison Santosuosso, Staff Writer

On Thur, Sep. 13 and Wed Oct. 3, all Abington Public School students participated in ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training. From Abington’s Preschool to the High School, each grade participated in a form of the training.

During seventh period, the high school mainly focused on barricading their classrooms. Students used desks, chairs, trash bins, and other classroom materials to create a barrier in a simulated attack scenario. Some students even used materials they had on their person such as belts, headbands, and hair elastics. The middle school and preschool participated in a modified fire drill.

Knowing what to do in a lock down situation is reassuring and provided me with a feeling of comfort. ”

— Isabella O'Connell

The second drill occurred during third period on Wed, Oct. 3. At the beginning of the drill, Mr. MacCurtain, the middle school principal, announced to the whole school that there was a shooter in the High School main office. Students and teachers had the option to evacuate, barricade, or counter the shooter.

Senior Katie Marando was in Life 101 near the 2nd floor rotunda with Ms. Howell when the drill took place. “Since the shooter was said to be downstairs in the [main] office, everyone in my class immediately ran out of the room and down the stairs outside. This was the most effective and fastest way of escaping safely,” Marando said.

Do you feel safer and more prepared after the ALICE drills?

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When asked about her initial thoughts on the Oct 3. drill, Colleen Dever from the class of 2020  said, “I didn’t really think much about it. It felt like one of those fire drills that don’t mean anything.”

“After taking part in the Alice training, I feel safer in the school,” sophomore Isabella O’Connell said. “Knowing what to do in a lock down situation is reassuring and provided me with a feeling of comfort. I now feel better prepared for a lock down.”

ALICE training is meant to give people multiple survival options in scenarios where an intruder enters the building.  In a situation where an armed intruder enters a classroom or work space, ALICE gives the students, teachers, and staff multiple plans to choose from to help them escape, including barricading, safely exiting through windows, and even throwing objects at the intruder to throw off their coordination. To be aware and prepared is the best form of defense. Armed or not, unknown figures that enter a building who could be a threat should be immediately reported.