ALICE should be replaced with something simpler

Run, Hide, Fight is a more effective way to handle crisis situations


Ainsley McKee, Reporter

Since the 2nd grade, I have been taught ALICE. School shooter drills have become such a regular occurence. 

At first, it was surprising and scary. Lights would go out, doors would lock and we would stack desks and chairs up, blocking the only way in. 

Now though, it is a regular event. After seven years of learning the same routine, you think it would work. However, after some investigation, I realized that ALICE simply doesn’t work for the school systems.  

ALICE, as most of us know, stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. There are also the “Four ‘R’s” of ALICE — Realize, Recognize, Respond and Resist. 

ALICE, when looked at from afar, is just constant acronyms or words we have to remember. When a person is thrown into a situation of panic, stress increases and the ability to process and remember decreases. 

For a high school student to try and remember as well as run through all the steps of ALICE does nothing but make an active shooter situation more difficult. 

Consequently, if ALICE isn’t working, then what protocol do we follow if we are thrown into an active shooter situation? Well, RHF (Run, Hide, Fight) is a process created by the FBI to help people make the best decision possible.

RHF is easy and allows people to decide for themselves the best option. If gunshots are fired and there is a way out, follow step 1: Run. 

If the shooter is too close to escape, do step 2: Hide. 

When face to face with the shooter, resort to step 3: Fight. 

Without the ‘A’ (Alert) and ‘I’ (Inform) in ALICE (Alert and Inform are quite frankly the same), Lockdown, Counter and Evacuate are the same as Run, Hide, Fight. The natural human instinct is ‘fight or flight’, so instead of having such an over structured system, RHF is already a natural human instinct. 

Run, Hide, Fight is a much better method for schools because it allows students to make the decision based on the situation they are in. They are able to go with their gut instinct. 

If Run, Hide, Fight can get teachers, students and myself out of dangerous situations faster and safer than ALICE can, then I say we should switch to teaching Run, Hide, Fight.

Along with a switch, students should also be educated on the signals of a possible school shooter. They can hopefully be able to get the person the help they need. If students and teachers are able to notice the signs before it is too late, many lives can be saved.  

De Pere High School needs to focus its efforts not on ALICE scenarios, but rather how to recognize problems and prevent tragedies. 

I recommend something like this. (warning violence)