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After ALICE:The changes in school safety at Pleasant Valley

Ada Duncan, Feature Editor

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Students of Pleasant Valley are no strangers to the ALICE drill, but due to recent incidents across the country, ALICE drills have become more relevant. Instead of being just another drill, ALICE has become a serious concern. Students, parents and staff of Pleasant Valley have seen changes because of the most recent ALICE drill that took place Thursday, Sept. 27.

All staff members are supposed to have some sort of plan for when an intruder is in the building, but there is no way for someone to be 100% prepared for every scenario. Office members at Pleasant Valley High School were the first to come into contact with the last intruder. One of the front desk secretaries, Rebecca Hinman, described their original plan of action: “Just press the button,” in reference to the building lockdown button. But after this past ALICE drill, their plan of action has somewhat changed.

The intruder originally tried to get into the building using other doors by getting students or staff to open it for them. When that failed, the intruder tried the office doors instead. The intruder pretended to be a parent wanting to talk to the office ladies. When he entered the office he shot his blanks at them, signifying them that they were just shot. Since they had been “shot”, they could not press the lockdown button. Because of this, the secretaries wanted to make some changes to their plan. Hinman described some of these changes, “We have limited access to the main office and we now ask for the reason why they are here and who they are before they can come in.” Another change they have made is making parents leave dropped off materials on the table sitting in the entrance. This way, people don’t even have to enter the office to drop things off.

Another change is the student ID check. Some Pleasant Valley students don’t have a first period, so they don’t arrive at school until later in the morning. Because Pleasant Valley is a closed campus, the doors lock when the official school day starts at 8:10 a.m. The students who arrive later are to be let in by a Pleasant Valley staff member that is stationed at the doors until second period begins. Before the ALICE drill, students could walk right into the building with no difficulty, but after the drill students are required to show their ID.

Some students at PV have gone their whole highschool careers without ever using their student ID unless it doubles as their activity pass. Logan Morin, a senior at Pleasant Valley said, “I don’t even have a school ID because I missed picture day.”

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After ALICE:The changes in school safety at Pleasant Valley