School Response Protocol

  • The purpose of “A.L.I.C.E.” is to ensure student and adult safety if a situation arose that required the assistance of police. (e.g. school shooter)  No single response fits all active shooter situations; however, making sure each individual knows his or her options for response and can react decisively will save valuable time. There is no single answer for what to do, but a survival mindset can increase the odds of surviving.

    Training and Drill Practice provides the means to regain your composure, recall at least some of what you have learned, and commit to action. As the situation develops, it is possible that students and staff will need to use more than one option. During an “active shooter” situation, you will rarely have all of the information you need to make a fully informed decision about which option is best. While you should follow the plan and any instructions given during an incident, often you will have to rely on your own judgment to decide which option will best protect lives. ALICE is not designed to be sequential. It is another tool to use with an Emergency Operation Plan. 

    Is your first notification of danger. It involves recognizing signs of danger and receiving information about the danger from others.

    If evacuation is not a safe option, barricade entry points. Use items near you to fortify the entry points to make it difficult for anyone to enter. Prepare to evacuate or spread out in the room and prepare to counter, if necessary. 

    Communicate real-time information about the violent intruder's location. Use clear and direct language via any communication means possible. Do not use code words, and relay as much information as you can so those involved are empowered to act as the situation requires.

    When in close proximity to the violent intruder, create noise and movement, using distraction to reduce the shooter's ability to shoot accurately. Counter is not fighting. Counter focuses on distraction and control techniques that leverage strength in numbers and the element of surprise. 

    When safe to do so, run from danger, using non-traditional exits if necessary. Rally points should be predetermined and included in drills.


    There are three basic options: Lockdown, Counter, or Evacuate. 

    • Seek a secure place where you can hide and/or deny the shooter access, or 

    • Incapacitate the shooter to survive and protect others from harm 

    • You can run away from the shooter


    • If running is not a safe option, hide in as safe a place as possible.

      • Hide in a location where the walls might be thicker and have fewer windows. 

      • Lock the doors; Turn off lights; 

      • Barricade the doors with heavy furniture; 

      • Close and lock windows and close blinds or cover windows; 

      • Silence all electronic devices; Remain silent; 

      • Hide along the wall closest to the exit but out of the view from the hallway (allowing for an ambush of the shooter and for possible escape if the shooter enters the room); 

      • Remain in place until given an all clear by identifiable law enforcement officers. 


    • If neither running nor hiding is a safe option, as a last resort when confronted by the shooter, adults and students in immediate danger should try to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter by using aggressive force and items in their environment, such as fire extinguishers, and chairs. 


    • If it is safe to do so for yourself and those in your care, run out of the building and far away until you are in a safe location. As you prepare for this, tell students:

      •  Where they are to meet you. (e.g. EPMS, HES, Ashpole.)

      • Leave personal belongings behind; 

      • Visualize possible escape routes, including physically accessible routes for students with disabilities as well as persons with access and functional needs; Avoid escalators and elevators; 

      • Take others with you, but do not stay behind because others will not go; 

      • Call 911 when safe to do so, and let a school adult know where you are.