By: Christine Souders
The Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre is a horrifying example of what can happen in our schools.
One QC school district may put a new plan in place to better prepare students and teachers for those types of emergencies.
Bettendorf school leaders said they are looking to improve the current lockdown system. Monday night, the board talked about an alternative called the A.L.I.C.E. Program. That stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate.
Bruce Schwarz is the officer on duty at Bettendorf High. He said right now the school goes on lockdown, if faced with a possible gunman, "The current policy doesn't address what happens if the gunman comes into your room, is able to breach your door and then come into the room and confront you and your students."
Which is a big concern for students like Julia Busch, "He could like shoot through the door or something or break the door."
The C in A.L.I.C.E. means Counter, so students and teachers would be able to fight back, instead of the current policy, which only allows them to lock the doors and gather in a corner of the classroom or under their desk.
"Simply locking the door does not prevent or stop the aggressive acts, so we need to implement something else, and what A.L.I.C.E. does, it empowers the person living in the moment to make informed decisions," said Officer Schwarz.
Bettendorf High School parent Mary Humphrey agrees and said the lockdown system is not acceptable, "I don't think it's enough, I think it's good, but I don't think it's enough."
And Officer Schwarz said this new program would allow students and teachers more options to protect themselves, "They decide whether they want to stay locked in their room, whether they want to or need to evacuate or if the individual comes into their room and confronts them in a threatening manner to defend themselves if necessary."
The Bettendorf School District wants to get input from parents. A public forum is set up tentatively for 6 PM, January 29th at the Area Education Agency in Bettendorf.