This is an additional angle that did not appear in the version of “The Lockdown Generation” that ran in print for Issue 4.
Because of this, as far as the district goes, Schaps said that Prospect is one of the more progressive schools in terms of safety and security procedures. However, progressivism takes on many forms.
Ashley Krozel, School Resource Officer for District 96 (D96) as well as officer for the Buffalo Grove Police Department (BGPD), oversees seven schools in her district. Also transitioning and practicing more advanced lockdown drills, instead of using the Run, Hide, Fight model that D214 uses, D96 — which consists of grades kindergarten to eighth grade — uses the Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evaluate model (ALICE).
Without giving out too much detail for security concerns, Krozel says that ALICE’s main objective is to help teachers make informed decisions based upon known information that will give their students the best possible outcome. According to Schaps, Krozel was instrumental in bringing ALICE to D96.
While the ALICE and Run, Hide, Fight models both provide a more complex solution in the face of a complex issue, Schaps illustrated that she doesn’t feel like the ALICE model would be a good fit for D214.
Through researching it on her own, Schaps disagrees with the “counter” aspect of ALICE. According to what she has seen, when they say “counter,” it is intended for students and staff to create, noise, movement, distance and distractions with the intent of reducing the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately. However, Schaps said that their ideology illustrates to not directly engage the threat.
To Schaps, the biggest problem with this is the typical size of a classroom.
“If you are in a classroom, and somebody entered your classroom, what would you do to distract them in that small of a space?” Schaps said.
Thus, while Schaps believes ALICE might work for younger kids — as they might find it harder to fight back — she is confident in D214’s methods of preparedness. While Schaps doesn’t necessarily believe one should jump to hands-on combat, she also thinks it would be unwise for high schoolers to actively avoid engaging.
This belief is backed up by the local school systems, as Cooper Middle School is ALICE-certified but feeds into Buffalo Grove High School (BGHS) where they practice Run, Hide, Fight. Therefore, Schaps thinks that ALICE may be a good preparatory program for Run, Hide, Fight.
According to Krozel, the differences between lockdown methods are a matter of difference between school board safety committees and what they feel is best for their district. However, Krozel illustrated that these decisions are based off of situations and statistics from around the country over the past few decades.
While Krozel says that many in-school precautions were put into place after the Sandy Hook incident, it has been a gradual shift of thinking towards more option-based lockdown models. The main difference, to Krozel, is the ability for the staff to make informed decisions based off of information of the situation.
“When you are locked in a room, forcing kids to be quiet … It’s scary [and] it’s unnatural,” Krozel said. “If someone were to come into my kid’s school, I would want the staff and teachers to use a common sense approach.”