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As I See It

Is hiding from school shooters the best plan?



It is a question students and teachers shouldn’t have to answer. What is the best course of action in the event of an active school shooter? It is a question that is being asked more often in the wake of a rise in school shootings. And so far, the answer is largely the same. Hide. But is that the best response? Many schools, including those in the La Crosse area, are trained in what is called ALICE. That stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. Basically, it suggests students and teachers stay in place after alerting others. Running is the last option in this scenario. But some suggest that should be the first course of action. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security says the best option is to run, followed by hiding, followed by, if necessary, fighting the attacker. But that is the opposite of what we are teaching in our schools. Homeland Security also suggests those who may be in a gunman’s path to run in a zig-zag pattern. Don’t pull the fire alarm, they say, as that can lead to further confusion. Meanwhile, schools in Wisconsin and elsewhere are providing schools hundreds of millions of dollars to make their schools safer by providing more locked doors. This encourages them to stay in place. But that is counter to what our top government experts are saying. The Commission on School Safety appointed by President Trump, which has barely met, should provide guidance on the best course of action, and make sure that is what we are teaching students in an effort to keep them safe.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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