LAPEER, Michigan — Every school day, parents across the District entrust our staff with the care of their most precious cargo — their children. This is a responsibility that Lapeer Community Schools takes seriously. In the event that the unthinkable happens, as it did late last year to our neighbors in Oxford, we want to be as prepared as possible.
Earlier this month, more than 600 Lapeer Community Schools (LCS) staff members participated in a full day of training, led by school resource officers, in the nation’s leading active shooter and emergency response protocol — ALICE.
The goal of ALICE Training is to ensure our staff is prepared to respond in the event of an emergency that, as is often the case, requires varied responses based on the specific nature of the threat.
“This type of training is vital to our ability to respond in the event of an emergency,” said LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie. “It offers our staff proactive, options-based strategies that eliminate the helpless feeling that can overcome us when we are under threat. It empowers us to make life and death decisions based on the specific circumstances we encounter during an emergency.”
Embedded into the ALICE Training is the recognition that there is no single response that fits all emergencies, including active shooter situations. People need options based on their specific role or location in the building.
In the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Oxford, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard lauded the response of students and staff in the midst of the chaos. He concluded that the ALICE Training provided to students and staff likely saved lives.
“We believe in this training and see it as a foundational part of our overall safety and security plan as a district,” Wandrie said. “Moving forward, our students will be trained in ALICE and we will continue to expand the security footprint at all our schools.”
Recently, the District has invested significant funds to purchase new and improved security cameras for schools and buses, expanded building access for law enforcement and improved outdoor entrance marker visibility.
“Alice Training is another step on a long list of safety and security improvements coming to the District,” Wandrie said. “We are one of the few districts in the state to have three school resource officers on assignment. Safety and security is something we take very seriously, and we will continue to address further security needs moving forward.”
Wandrie said the District has plans in place for door-locking systems with barricade technology, as well as new public address and phone systems in all buildings to assist in emergency communications. Secured entrance systems have also been installed in all buildings.
Finally, ALICE will become a required annual training for staff and students.
“I think the Oxford tragedy has been a wake-up call for all of us,” Wandrie said. “With the support of the community, we will do everything in our power to keep our schools safe.”