Kenosha School holds parent meetings to talk about active shooter plan
Following the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school, schools around the nation have been assessing how prepared they are for an active shooter.
Kenosha Unified School District invited families to learn about how they have prepared students for an active shooter.
The district has implimented a number of small practices that add up to a big plan. For example -- every door has a barricade mechanism in addition to a lock, and every student knows how to use that barricade. Another example -- teachers went through a rigorous training to learn how to make the strongest barricade of desks and chairs.
It's part of a larger program recognized nation-wide as ALiCE, which stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate.
The program was in the works for years, and it was fully implimented last Spring. Throughout the year, students learn about what to do in 7 stages -- which includes two drills.
Michelle Graves' daughter is in high school, and after seeing what happened at Parkland is why she came to the meeting.
"You exhale when you pick them up because you know they got through this day safe. will tomorrow be safe? will the day after that be safe?" said Graves.
It's a new reality -- students are now familiar with terms like 'rally point' and 'reunification site,' but Graves is just happy her daughter has her best chance at safety.
"That's been another big weight lifted off of us -- that [my daughter] knows what's going on. They're keeping her informed and she's keeping us informed," said
School officials have held this meeting before -- once last spring and once in the fall. One month after the Parkland, they had a much bigger crowd. Sue Valeri, the Chief of School Leadership says twice as many people were at this meeting.
"We've been getting more questions, more concerns, more suggestions," said Valeri, in response to the Parkland shooting sparking national attention.
Valeri says in the last month, students have made changes such as being more likely to speak up when anything suspicious occurs.
"They know. They see the snapchats. They hear the conversations. We're encouraging, if you see something, hear something, say something, and that has improved," said Valeri.
School officials also want to let people know the behaviors and warning signs to look out for. ALiCE training says they are:
- Child feels alone, rejected or withdrawn
- Access to firearms/guns in the home
- Child feels picked on or has been a victim of bullying
- Makes threats of violence/is overly aggressive (bullying, or being verbally abusive)
- Cannot control anger
- Expresses violence in drawings or writings
- Frequently fighting
There will be two more meetings in March to inform parents about ALiCE:
March 19 at Tremper High School, 8560 26th Ave.
March 28 at Reuther High School, 913 57th Ave.