Students in the Montevideo School District had an early dismissal on Wednesday, and while they got a head start on their trick or treating, district staff members were participating in an ALICE Active Shooter Response Training. The training was facilitated by the Montevideo Police Department, the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office, and officers from various other local agencies.

ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. The training teaches a variety of strategies that can be employed by school staff in the event of an active shooter. Staff on Wednesday participated in a variety of simulations using Nerf guns.

High School Principal Scott Hickey:

“We had different people come through with Nerf Guns, shooting at our staff, and we were keeping track of the hit ratios. So if you’re just sitting down in a room and not moving or resisting, the casualty count is very high. But if you use all these different strategies, the amount of people shot is greatly reduced. So it was kind of just giving our staff options and giving the district some ideas of – what are some of the things we can do to examine our own policies? How can we add some of these [ALICE strategies] into what we do as a school to keep our kids safe?”

In addition to active shooter trainings and security upgrades, the district is working to find ways to prevent active shooter scenarios from happening in the first place.

Principal Hickey:

“I truly believe – and the district, how we operate – that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So alot of times – if we see students that are exhibiting some of these danger signs, or if they are having issues that could lead us to have some red flags – we try to intervene early with these students and do our due diligence to make sure that none of these situations occur.”

All students in the district will participate in a security training at some point next semester.