Schools evaluate security in wake of shooting
MILTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- The terrible attack on defenseless students and teachers at a Connecticut elementary school has parents in Massachusetts wondering how safe their children really are.
“Milton has a pretty good plans in place and they’ve had a lot of lockdown drills. I think they’re on top of it as much as they can be,” said Lorenzo Savona, a parent.
Schools in Massachusetts develop their own safety plans. There are no state mandates. School systems have the option of hiring security consultants.
One security consultant is pushing a program called Alice, which stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. It’s fonder said parents must be proactive.
“They should be having a conversation with their children and local schools finding out what is the protocol, what is the plan,” said Greg Crane, president of Response Options.
The company consults with local police, but Milton’s chief, who has been working closely with the superintendant of schools in Milton, is not convinced there is much value in the product.
“I don’t buy into a name-brand -- a canned product off the shelf,” said Chief Richard Wells, of the Milton police department.
One controversial element of Alice is the “counter” -- it involves students and staff taking active steps to fight back against an attacker.
“Let them make the decision. Empower them to do something to help themselves before law enforcement can arrive,” said Crane.
In Medford, where police will be on duty at every school for the rest of the year, said Alice is a controversial idea.
“It’s pretty difficult to envision that -- it may be possible for older kids, high school kids, but we need to look at that a little bit more to see exactly why people think that’s an effective way,” said Roy Belson, superintendent of Medford Public Schools.
Every school must come up with its own plan.