Wednesday, January 14, 2015

#NewsBham- Principal in Valley Alabama Wants to Stockpile Cans of Food for Students to Throw at Shooters

CHAMBERS COUNTY: Principal Priscella Holley of W.F. Middle School in Valley Alabama says students can use cans of food to defend themselves in the event of a school shooting.

“As a result of school shootings throughout the United States and discussing with law enforcement on the best procedure to follow to keep our students safe, we are enhancing our procedure for intruders.”

According to an AP story released yesterday,  Principal Holley sent out a letter to parents asking them to send their children to school with an 8 ounce canned item.

"We realize at first this may seem odd, however, it is a practice that would catch an intruder off guard. The canned food item could stun the intruder or even knock him out until the police arrive...the canned food item will give the students a sense of empowerment to protect themselves and will make them feel secure in case an intruder enters their classroom."

This is part of Principal Holley's implementation (interpretation) of ALICE, a program designed to teach schools and businesses how to deal with possible shooters. ALICE stands for Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate. 

"In the horrible event that an active shooter makes his or her way into a school, hospital, church, or business, there are steps that can be taken as an effort to survive an attack. With workplace violence as a rising trend across the United States, the ALICE method is not limited to preventing a school shooting. The ALICE Training Program provides examples for real, effective ways to thwart an active shooter." - ALICE

Superintendent Kelli Hodge told The AP that school staff had been working with Auburn University's Department of Public Safety on training to respond to such emergencies“I can honestly say that the major point of the training is to be able to get kids evacuated and not be sitting ducks hiding under desks.” 

"However, Chance Corbett, Auburn's associate director of public safety, said he had actually referred the school to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency for active shooter training after learning Monday that school officials wanted the training.

"The food cans would be stored in classrooms and students wouldn't be carrying them around school," Hodge told the AP.

"Using cans or other items as weapons would be a last resort for students unable to evacuate," she said.

"Teachers are taught to barricade classroom doors if an intruder is in the school, but if that fails, the cans and items such as textbooks could be used, she said." 
"If somebody is going to force their way through, then as the last resort you would start throwing any objects you could get your hands on," Hodge said.
Asked whether throwing cans of food could make a student a target, Hodge said they would already be a target at that point.
"If it comes to the situation that they are forced to do that, then they are a target because they've not been able to evacuate," she said.

"We hope the canned food items will never be used or needed, but it is best to be prepared." Unused cans will be donated to the local food pantry at the end of the year. (Source- AP Jan 13, 2015, Huntsville)