School shootings have become one of the most important topics over the past few years. In response, schools have started to incorporate active shooter drills, dubbed ALICE drills, at Homer High, as a way to prepare the staff and students.
On Thursday, October 5th, Homer High underwent such a drill. Throughout the school, teachers showed students a video titled “Lockdown,” by ALICE Training Institute. The seven minute video covered the basics of what to do during the situation: alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. The teachers then went over different scenarios and how their individual classroom would respond, taking suggestions or questions from students. Since the school has been using the same ways to address the issue for a few years, Homer High students shared their perspective on the effectiveness of the drill.
“I think it was effective to a point, like it allows us to know our options in that situation,” says senior Solstice Kraszeski. “But we’ve heard the same speech for four years, no one’s really listening at this point.” For a possible solution, Solstice suggested “to be most effective, I would actually have someone play the part of the shooter and we actually barracked or evacuate depending on where we are in the school.”
Ali McCarron, another senior, thought the idea was decent, but the execution was the downfall of the drill. “I think the idea of it could have been effective, but personally, in the classroom we were in, it wasn’t really that effective.” She explains “we didn’t really discuss the scenarios in depth, if at all.”
Owen Glasman, a sophomore that hasn’t experienced as many Alice drills, stated “to me, it didn’t seem like a drill, more of like an educational moment.” He added “we learned the steps, but we didn’t practice them. Like for a fire drill, we practice leaving the school. But we didn’t practice anything with this.”
One anonymous student said bluntly “I have no idea how to prepare for a shooting, and I have no idea if Alice drills are helping at all.”