Do you know ALICE?

Just last month there was a college shooting in North Carolina — a man who had attended the school previously walked in with a gun and shot Ron Lane, the school’s print shop operator. The gunman, Kenneth Stanscil, had been a former employee of Lane’s at Wayne Community College.

If there is ever a situation like that at BHC, students and employees are supposed to follow the A.L.I.C.E. drill for any type of shooting incident. A.L.I.C.E. stands for: alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate.

Alert simply means that the police have been notified and everyone on campus is informed of the situation via word of mouth or from the PA system. At BHC, the PA system will alert students and employees of any emergency, even for events such as exposure to hazardous materials. At these times, we cannot stress enough that you are NOT to use the elevators.

Lockdown implies that the door to your classroom is locked and the lights are turned off – pretend no one is home. Under lockdown, you should be quiet and position yourself in the room strategically, avoiding the windows and doors.

Communication should still be flowing – silently if it must – to keep everyone notified of the current situation. Most students and employees have their phones on them; stay connected with other students on campus for the latest information.

If you or your classmates find yourself squared off with the gunman, the counter step of A.L.I.C.E. comes into action. You should not leave your classroom and try and hunt down the gunman; this step should only be utilized if he/she has come into contact with you and you need to defend yourself.

“The counter aspect of A.L.I.C.E. is a really smart option; otherwise you’re all sitting ducks in a room, huddled against a wall,” reasoned an anonymous BHC student.

The last step of A.L.I.C.E. is to evacuate – as long as it is safe, move to a different, more secure location.

Some professors may remember – many students may not even know – that there have been cases where the college has gone into lockdown due to shooting incidents. About a decade ago, the school was under lockdown for over an hour, meaning that no one could enter or leave the campus.

Black Hawk College has a list of the actions you should take in case any of these instances arise, but have you taken the time to read them?

In the instance of a tornado, the designated emergency areas are the tunnel from Building 1 to Building 2, and the track in Building 3. This is the time of year where we begin to worry more about the threat of tornadoes – you know better than to stand next to a window, right?

There are circumstances, however, that we have no ability to predict. Any type of fire, power outage, explosion, or campus shooting is almost entirely left up to chance for many of us.

Although many of the protocols are steps we have been ushered through before, having a firm grasp on what you should do could not only save your life, but someone else’s as well.


   Gayle wrote for the Knightbeat and was its editor at Orion High School. She was awarded teh “Young Journalist of the Year” award in 2014. She loves writing and literature and hopes to find a great job combining those in the near future.