Staff Editorial: Students who skipped ALICE day missed valuable lessons


Anna Minton


Some students at the high school did not feel it was important to attend last week’s ALICE training. According to attendance records, 348 students were absent, tardy or had early dismissals on the day of the training.

This past Wednesday, Granville High School participated in ALICE training activities. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, and is a training course that teaches students and educators alike how to respond to an active threat in their school building.

According to the ALICE website, the purpose of the program is to “prepare individuals to handle the threat of an active shooter,” and to “…teach individuals to participate in their own survival, while leading others to safety.”

Mr. Durst, principal at GHS, reported the day of training was a huge success. Administrators believe that “students learned a variety of skills that will benefit them at GHS and upon their graduation.”

Students have explained their absences with various reasoning, such as: “It was more like a free day to me because we weren’t required to be there” or “It’s Granville, nothing ever happens here” or “I’m a senior, so I don’t really have to worry about GHS issues because I’ll be gone next year.”

While some see these excuses as a reason not to come to school, it could be quickly argued that these statements are actually reasons why students should have attended.

In 2015, reports that there has been at least 45 public shootings, resulting in 30 deaths and 53 injuries.  These public threats did not occur in big population cities; they happened in small, rural towns. Roseburg, Oregon, and Newtown, Connecticut, are places much like Granville; small, unknown little villages. That is, until public shootings occurred at Umpqua Community College and Sandy Hook Elementary. Now, these formerly quiet sanctuaries are sadly victims of terror. These two towns are an example of why even though Granville seems like an unlikely target for a public shooting, the threat of public violence should never be dismissed, no matter the location. The “Granville Bubble” may not protect us from every circumstance. By educating participants, they might just be saving lives in the future.

It’s also important to note that the training and preparation does not limit itself to just school buildings. Being able to secure a room, perform first aid and evacuate a building safely is a skill that will stay with all of those who attended for the rest of their lives. This disputes the idea that just because the seniors will be graduating in seven months, does not mean that they should not learn such valuable life skills.

Ryan Hussey, who works at the Granville Township Fire Department, helped out with the medical training and was disappointed in the low number of attendance.

“Unfortunately, the possibility of a school shooter is a reality, and I think that makes people uncomfortable,” Hussey said. “The thing is, is that we weren’t teaching anything in a scary or traumatic way.”

Hussey stated that it’s important to teach everyone how to be prepared for various life situations.

“There’s a difference between expecting something to happen, and being prepared,” continued Hussey. “We’re not expecting it to happen, but we are preparing for the worst day in Granville High School’s history… we’re just trying to teach kids how to save a life.”

In an email to parents, Principal Matt Durst stated that the school administration “will continue to provide ongoing training in a variety of crisis situations for our students.” This means that for those students who did not attend school this past Wednesday will be able to receive some of the survival knowledge that they missed.

Safety is not a thing that Granville Schools District takes lightly. Being able to not only save your own life, but others as well is an ability that will stick with every student for the rest of their lives, and is important to our success in the future.