Mercy implements new lockdown procedures


Mercy students participated in drills (photo credit: Olivia Evans)

On the eve of the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, Mercy High School’s student body participated in a drill designed to prepare them in the event of an active shooter. The techniques carried out in the drill are the product of the ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) program, a training institute that began as a small school security training company.

ALICE training seeks to prepare students and faculty to make life-saving decisions in the event of an active shooter. According to history and Latin teacher Mrs. Lauren Marquard, the program replaces a previous approach to active shooters that consisted of hiding and waiting for police to arrive.

“It was introduced to the staff a few months ago as a new way to respond to a possible emergency of a shooter in the building,” said Mrs. Marquard. “ALICE uses an active approach as opposed to a passive approach.”

The ALICE training institute, which states its mission is “to improve chances of survival”, emphasized the importance of individuals “trained in proactive active shooter response options, rather than a . . . mandated, one-size-fits-all response.”

These new drill procedures surprised and pleased many students who wanted a plan in place in the event that the worst occurs.

Senior Celia McGrath expressed her support of the new program, citing its importance in protecting students.

“I think we’re implementing this program as a better way to protect Mercy students and staff. It helps to ensure that students know how to fight back but also how to escape in such a dire circumstance,” said McGrath. “It’s a much better approach . . . than our old lockdown drills. This program would be extremely [effective] in the event of a shooter.”