Proactively, our neighboring town to the southwest (Needham) has called in ALICE. Check it out on Google. It stands for “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate” and offers training to prepare individuals to “handle the threat of an Active Shooter.” I often read the Needham Tab when eating at Mandarin Cuisine on Needham St. and when I read about this program, soon to be instituted in Needham schools, I wanted to crawl under the table in memory of my under-the-desk elementary school days. One of the suggestions that their kids will be given is to distract the Active Shooter by throwing things at him/her! He has an Uzi—the kid has a crayon—REALLY?!
While we all calculate that it is most unlikely that our school children will be confronted by malevolence, we know that we bear some responsibility, at least for fooling ourselves into thinking that we are protecting them.
Personally, I hope the Newton Schools will reach deeper into their basket of safety choices and consider training school staff to do more than “ALICE”, since the time that it takes for police to arrive, while admirable, is not fast enough to minimize the first moments of carnage that we have all seen replayed on CNN. So what do you think? Should we allow ALICE to move in here? Continue with “Lockdowns”? Do nothing?