Keeping Our Campus Safe

Starting with the 2015-2016 school year, Messiah Lutheran School (MLS) implemented ALiCE procedures for an active shooter on campus. This means MLS has moved away from the typical locking the door and hide lock down. ALiCE uses the following procedures to ensure student, faculty, staff and guests safety during an event on campus.

Please note, even though the procedures are listed in order, except for alert, any of the following procedures could happen in any order:
A – Alert: This is the first indication of a situation on campus. Faculty, staff and students are trained to inform others of a situation happening that warrants action.

L – Lockdown: Lock the door and build a barricade to stop a threat from entering the room. During this time faculty, staff and students are looking for a way to escape the situation in a safe manner, and to get away from the intruder.

i – Inform: Real time information is shared with the faculty, staff and students so decisions can be made about safely evacuating the building. Inform also includes communicating with those in the room the plan being created together to ensure the safety of those around.

C – Counter: This part of the procedure is to be done IF AND ONLY IF you cannot evacuate and the threat is in the room with you. Faculty, staff and students are to use anything in the room as a weapon and throw it at the threat while they continue to try and evacuate. Counter DOES NOT mean to actively seek out the threat and try to eliminate it. Counter is used ONLY if there is no other way to protect your life.

E – Evacuate: After the alert has been made, this is the first and preferred option. If faculty, staff and students can safely evacuate the building and go to one of the reunification locations they are to do so. They are to use any means possible (door or window) to get away from the threat. If they must lockdown, they are to continue to look for a time and way to evacuate as soon as it is safe to do so.

MLS understands there is some negative press on the internet about the ALiCE procedures, especially the Counter portion, and takes these concerns very seriously. After going through the certification course provided by ALiCE (with the Independence School District Resource Officers, other school staff and other police officers) and after performing much research, Mr. Butz and the School Board feel these procedures offer the most options to keep as many people safe on campus as possible. Once the Counter procedure is understood, MLS believes many of the concerns about this procedure disappear. If MLS does have to use the ALiCE procedures due to an actual on campus event the following needs to be understood:

  1. All students are trained to evacuate if possible rather than to counter.
  2. MLS trains the Counter procedure is to be used ONLY if a life is being threatened, and there is no other way out of that threat.
  3. MLS is NOT training students of any age to actively seek out a threat or to try and neutralize that threat.
  4. No student is forced to participate in the Counter procedure, they are encouraged to protect themselves and others in this manner, but they are not required to participate if they do not feel it is safe to do so.
Drills and trainings are carried out throughout the school year to make MLS as safe as possible. These Drills and trainings are done using official ALiCE materials and are age appropriate.

If there are any questions about the ALiCE trainings performed on campus, or the ALiCE drills, please feel free to contact Mr. Eckhoff or watch this Homeland Security video which utilizes many of the same procedures as ALiCE. Please note this is dramatization and shows an active shooter and people being shot in a workplace environment.
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