School Emergency Drill Causes Concern For Some Parents

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Students in one central Ohio school barricade their classrooms. But this wasn't an emergency.
It's all part of a safety drill to prepare them in the event of an active shooter, and its causing controversy.

Big Walnut Local School District is implementing a new procedure that it says will increase the chance of survival in the event of a dangerous person on, or near, school grounds.  

The new procedure will teach staff and students the ALICE system.

A Alert
L Lockdown
I Inform
C Counter
E Evacuate

In short, the district says using this method encourages students and teachers to get the word out about a dangerous person and then get to, or remain in, a secure aware.  This procedure also calls for distracting and confusing a shooter should they get in a classroom and then try to gain control of the area.

The last part has some parents in that district upset.

On Monday, students in the Big Walnut Local School District were prepped before Tuesday’s drill.

"She comes home from school yesterday and she tells me 'Oh I know what ALICE is,'” says mother Cathy Badger “'We are supposed to attack a gunman if he comes into the classroom' and I'm like pump the brakes, what are you saying."

Big Walnut Intermediate School Principal says at 10 a.m. Monday morning he announced that the drill was starting.

He says the students in each classroom helped their teacher barricade the doors with file cabinets, chairs, desks or whatever was at their disposal.

"It was a very controlled drill,” said Ryan McLane, “It was not a 'You have to do this in 20 seconds because we are going to try and get into the room.'"

Principal McLane says creating a barricade is another option besides the traditional "Lockdown" which, he says, isn't always the best thing to do.

"I think at this age, fifth and sixth graders are capable of helping their teacher quickly barricade a door. Talking with them afterward, they weren't fearful they said it was a good experience, “said McLane

But Cathy Badger says it's an experience children should not have.

"This is the wrong way to go, in my opinion, you don't teach little children to attack someone with a gun, you put somebody with a gun at the front door so they don't make in that far,” said Badger.

Badger was one of two parents who requested their child be excuse from the drill.

The principal says those students stayed with a guidance counselor during that time. But this isn't the last of these types of drills.

Dublin City Schools is holding a parent meeting tomorrow night to talk about its new security measures including "Run, Hide, Fight."

Big Walnut says it will likely have another drill in the spring.