COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – The Chambers County, AL School District in Valley, AL is all over the news and social media, following a letter to parents asking students to bring a canned good to school for possible use as a weapon against armed intruders.
The idea comes from a school training program called ALICE, which outlines several approached to danger rather than just hiding in the dark.
ALICE stands for: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.
The cans would come into play during the "counter" approach, which is about creating disruption, even for a few seconds, maybe overwhelming the intruder.
Some people believe it's a ridiculous concept – cans versus bullets. But throwing cans, or anything else at a shooter, is only designed as a worst-case scenario – a last stand.
Of course not enough schools allow armed employees, even though it's the school's job to keep children safe.
So, in the event no armed guard exists, and an escape route to safety is not available, teaching children to be proactive with cans instead of huddling in fear is worth trying.
Chambers County Schools aren't alone, seven other districts and 30 in the county have gone through ALICE training.
It can help make students less like sheep and more like sheepdogs. Sheepdogs guard against danger and take action. Sheep are oblivious to threats and expect someone else to take care of them.
When a wolf, like a school shooter, strikes, we need sheepdogs of every kind, prepared to do whatever it takes to defeat the wolves.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906