The Sharon public schools have adopted a new procedure designed to save lives during a shooting or other type of emergency.
In the past, the district followed a traditional lock-down model, which called for staff and students to stay in place, lock doors, and pull down shades to protect themselves and wait for police, Superintendent Timothy Farmer said.
But research conducted after some of the school shootings of the last 20 years has shown that survival increases when schools have a more flexible plan that can include evacuation, according to Farmer.
If a shooter enters one wing of a school, the best thing for students in another wing may be to evacuate, he said, because to someone with a high-powered weapon “a locked door doesn’t mean anything.”
Sharon has signed up for system called ALICE — an acronym for alert, lock-down, inform, counter, and evacuate. The name represents different response strategies, not chronological steps, according to the ALICE Training Institute ’s website. The Ohio-based company was born out of a law enforcement officer’s effort to protect his wife, who was a school principal, the site says.
Last spring, Sharon offered teachers an online training program, and this fall the district will follow up with other staff and give age-appropriate information to students.