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SYLVANIA, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Sylvania parents attended a forum at Central Trail Elementary Thursday night to learn more about the ALICE program the district follows.
Parents wanted to know how the training is different from what they learned as a student.
"It allows them to make decisions on what their best course of action is if someone comes in with an intent to harm them," said Sgt. Justin Music, of the Sylvania Police Department.
Sgt. Music suggested the district go through the ALICE training in the summer of 2011. Since then, police, administrators, staff, and even students have gone through it.
"Obviously from a school standpoint, we have significant demands on us as a school system," said Superintendent Brad Reiger. "But the number one priority is to have a thoughtful and a comprehensive approach to school safety."
ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. Traditional training (what many parents learned in school) calls for students to be locked-down in a classroom, taking cover under desks, in an active shooter situation. ALICE calls for a different approach.
"I really just want to be informed of what they're telling our students, what they're training our teachers and how they're planning on dealing with extreme emergencies," said parent Kate Fineske.
Sgt. Music clarified that the ALICE program does not call for students to fight back against a shooter.
"That's the last thing we want them to do," he said. "Our goal is to get them out of the building if we can safely get them out of the building. If we can't get them out of the building safely, our next goal is to have them lockdown, barricade, fortify, make themselves a hard target and limit access to them."
The idea is to not make students and staff easy victims. The training provides educated options.
"These are very rare circumstances," Music said. "Unfortunately, however, any time we hear about this in the media, we realize the potential for them. So we're preparing today, and hopefully we'll never need to use it."