BEA making sure schools safe
The Blue Earth Area Schools are changing the way they will react to any kind of an emergency especially one that involves an active shooter.
School Resource Officer DJ Bullerman addressed the BEA School Board at their meeting last Monday night, and explained the new procedure.
“We are implementing the A.L.I.C.E. response,” Bullerman told the board members. “It is replacing the current Code Yellow and Code Red Lockdown procedure we have been using.”
A.L.I.C.E. stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.
“In our current lockdown procedure, the alarm goes out and students and staff lock the door, turn out the lights and get away from the door,” Bullerman said. “That is good in theory but in an active shooter situation, that door can be breached and then everyone is in danger.”
Bullerman explained the A.L.I.C.E. plan calls for finding out what is going on, countering the attack and moving and escaping.
He said part of the measures can be to stack obstacles in front of the doors, or throwing items at any threat, and moving away in a zig zag motion.
“We have been training the staff with all the new procedures and it is going well,” Bullerman said. “We have gone through a lot of scenarios, and used Nerf guns, not real ones, during the training. We have been teaching five different steps of action that should be taken.”
Bullerman said one thing that made the changes necessary is the fact that even law enforcement personnel are only 30 percent accurate when trying to hit a moving target. But, shooters, who are aiming at persons who are not moving are at 50 percent accuracy.
“It is sad we have to teach this, but at that point of entering the classroom, we need to take action,” he said. “Unfortunately this is not the good old days any longer.”
He said that United South Central Schools in Wells are implementing the same new A.L.I.C.E. program.
The new procedure is different in the high school versus the elementary/middle school, Bullerman said, just due to the age of the students.
“We have all the teachers addressing it according to the ages of their students,” Bullerman said. And, K-7 principal Melissa McGuire agreed, saying the staff is teaching it an age appropriate level for younger students.
“It’s bad we have to do this,” Bullerman said. “But, we do have to do it.”
The School Board members agreed, saying keeping students and staff safe is a top priority.