A sergeant in the Marine Corps Infantry with deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Sean Burke never thought he’d be using any of that training as a high school social studies teacher in the Quakertown Community School District.
“I didn’t expect I’d be instructing students on stuff like this, the idea of force protection in the schools,” Mr. Burke said after a recent ALICE counter training session. The district adopted ALICE training three years ago, in the summer of 2018. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.
The ALICE philosophy is to use technology and information in a way that staff and students can make informed decisions in a crisis, remove as many people as possible from the danger zone, and provide realistic training so those involved in a crisis have a better chance of surviving. Students in each grade receive some form of ALICE training.
About two dozen students have signed up for training during their PRIDE period with Mr. Burke and School Resource Officer Bob Lee. The training takes place about every two weeks in the wrestling room, which has mats wall-to-wall. Props include tennis balls and two fake red guns -- a handgun and assault rifle. The adults talk to the students about the weapons, and then allow them to hold them.