FIGHT OR FLIGHT: New school shooter training - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

FIGHT OR FLIGHT: New school shooter training

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

There's a shooter in your child's school -- how does your child react?

Waterloo schools is implementing new training to better prepare your children to survive.

It's based on the ALICE model (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate). In practice, ALICE training encourages students to run first. If that's not possible, they barricade doors and hide.

Then, as a last resort, if a shooter is coming into their classroom, they are trained to arm themselves with anything that comes to hand in an attempt to overwhelm the shooter.

District officials let KWWL go inside a school during this training. It's not a perspective we get often — the scrape of a table being moved, and hurried instructions.

The biggest aspect of the training — options.

“The likelihood of surviving a violent event increases then, versus one standard way you can respond,” said Dr. Willie Barney, Director of Safety for Waterloo Schools. “We may never find ourselves with a dangerous intruder, but making sure we have the skills to be able to respond is a very important skill set to have.”

“Unfortunately, intruders, when they come into those environments, are looking for docile, passive victims,” Barney said. “They're not looking for folks to respond back, because it makes it much harder for them.”

Students and teachers first try to barricade doors with tables, chairs and desks. Then, they arm themselves with scissors and heavy textbooks. The idea is to throw them at the would-be shooter en-masse, to overwhelm them.

Waterloo students began the training in November. An moderator explains the situation to the classroom.

“There's a shooter in the building,” he says, and they jump into action. The teacher gives instructions, and kids juke and dodge in the hallway towards the exit.

It was a surreal experience for Jalisa Roby.

“It's so the shooter wouldn't get a right shot at us,” she said. “But we're used to running straight, not all zig-zagging.

“I learned not to panic, follow directions,” said Dayton Sanders, another student. “And to wait for directions from the teacher before doing anything.”

“If it really happened, I would feel really scared,” Roby said. “I wouldn't know what to do, but at the same time, I would, because they taught us.”

“I probably wouldn't have time to be scared,” Sanders said. “I'd have a lot of adrenaline. Just be ready to go and get out.”

That's important, because a few seconds saved, can be lives spared.

‘Realistically, it's all of our survival,” Barney said. “Whether it's at school, the mall, out to eat — when one of these situations happens, we want our kids and adults to be in a better situation and go home to their families.

Students as young as 4th and 5th grade receive the ‘fight' portion of the training. Otherwise, they are only taught the ‘run' and ‘hide' aspects.

Find more on ALICE training here: http://www.alicetraining.com/what-we-do/respond-active-shooter-event/

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