Genoa school officials have decided to hold another informational meeting for families of students to discuss the district’s crisis emergency plan.
The meeting is scheduled for Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.
Using the district’s instant alert phone system, Superintendent Dennis Mock contacted households shortly after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn. to update households on the plan.
“Our administrators, teachers, students and support staff were trained in the ALICE emergency program in the fall,” he said in his recorded message. “The administrators this morning and local law enforcement… feel that it is important to have a second informational meeting to explain in detail the emergency program termed ALICE”
ALICE stands for Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate.
Genoa administrators and the Clay Township Police hosted a meeting for parents in October to explain the emergency program.
Police Chief Terry Mitchell completed ALICE training offered by Response Options, a Texas company.
“One of the biggest benefits is it’s not a one size fits all,” Chief Mitchell said. “We would do things differently at a school that is close to a lot of houses, for example, than at a campus setting where the school buildings are not in a village.”
Some questions have arisen about the “C” - the Counter portion of the program but Chief Mitchell said that’s due to a misunderstanding of the program’s format.
“The controversy comes with the misunderstanding on the part of people who are not informed about the program,” he said. “That this program would ask people to go out and try to actively engage someone that would be, let’s just say an active shooter.
“That’s not the case. The Counter would be, say you’re locked in a classroom and the person breaches the door. What the program is asking is to use anything in the room to your benefit - chairs, computers, pencils, scissors. Anything you can use to throw, disorient, to disrupt that person. Some people take that as we’re asking you to actively go out and track down someone who’s trying to do harm in the building. That’s just not the case.”
Prior to ALICE, the conventional response plan to an emergency situation was to lock down a building and wait for police to arrive, the chief said.
“This gives them the options at hand to do something to give them the best chance of a more favorable outcome,” he said.
According to the Response Options website, the company was founded by
Greg Crane, a former patrol officer, field training officer, crime scene investigator and Special Weapons And Tactics officer; Lisa Crane, a retired 30-year educator, and Marianne Alvarez, a former member of the San Jose State University Police Department.
Chief Mitchell said about 50 persons attended the first meeting in October.