CULLMAN – On August 10, Cullman County Schools certified all of their school resource Officers, and their Safety Director, in a program called ALICE. The Safety Resource Officers (SROs) will then return to their schools to train and certify all school personnel.
ALICE is a program that is sweeping the nation. It is considered to be the best crisis prevention and management program available to date.
The ALICE Acronym is developed from the following:
This training program will give teachers, faculty, and staff, the tools, knowledge, and training in how to handle crisis situations in local schools. ALICE training accepts the premise that the teacher is always the person on the front line in a crisis situation. Historically, when seconds count, it has been efforts by teachers that have made a difference when a difference matters.
Superintendent Dr. Ross recommends that personnel should be given all the tools and training necessary to enable them to carry out this enormous responsibility. Ross has nominated Jeff Harper -‐ Safety Director of Cullman County Schools and challenged him to make local campuses safe. Cullman County Schools will accept nothing short of perfection when it pertains to the safety of children. Ross states, “We need to be on the leading edge of methods in dealing with crisis.”
This summer, Harper has met personally with a teacher at Sandy Hook where she not only lost several of her students, but also lost one of her own children. He met with a college student from Virginia Tech that was shot three times and survived a tragic shooting in which a total of 32 students were killed and 17 others wounded. In both interviews, Harper noted that they were speaking of changes that had occurred “AFTER” the crisis. Harper does not want to be talking about things “AFTER” they happen. He states, “We need to be proactive and change things before they happen.”
Ross has scheduled staff training in the schools on Sept. 28th, (the first Professional Development Day.) The SROs along with additional help from the Sheriff's Dept. and Cullman Police Dept. will train and certify all the personnel on that day.
Cullman County Schools will be the first public school system in the state of Alabama to have all of their faculty and staff certified in a crisis management program.
Harper says that he is inspired by the resolve of Ross to do whatever it takes to keep local children and personnel safe. The primary goal of Cullman County Schools is to ensure that at the end of the day the most precious gift, the students, will return home safely.