TPS board reviews response program for emergency preparedness

By: 
MEGAN LINSKI

At the January 11 Tecumseh Public Schools (TPS) regular board meeting, an update was given on the ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) program. The program is a First Active Shooter Response System and prepares students and teachers how to respond in the event that an active shooter is present in the school. ALICE teaches individuals how to survive an active shooter situation, while leading others to safety.

Tecumseh High School Assistant Principal Angel Mensing led an update on the ALICE program. Mensing said ALICE was an alternative to lockdown-only strategies during a catastrophic event, and leans on giving as much information as possible to as many people as possible so the best decision can be made during a high-risk situation. “Ultimately our goal is always going to be to evacuate safely if that is the appropriate response,” Mensing said.

TPS has teamed up with the Tecumseh Police Department (TPD) in order to create a plan in the event of a school shooting. “In the horrible event that we have to ALICE, the local law enforcement knows exactly what our plan is. That way they can respond accordingly as well,” Mensing said.

Mensing and TPD Sergeant BJ Horn of TPD were trained in October 2014 in the ALICE program. Afterwards, all staff of TPS were instructed in ALICE and information nights were held for parents. Students were led through ALICE Day, where staff spoke to students on what to do in case an active shooter entered the school.

Rally points have also been established in the event of a live shooter, so students have a place to go to after they evacuate. “Our local law enforcement worked very closely with us, so should we ever actually have to go to one of the rally points, they’re going to be there before most of us get there anyway,” Mensing said.

In other business, the board also voted unanimously to award a $120,540 bid to Perry Pro Tech for the district-wide card access security system. Superintendent Kelly Coffin said that TPS has worked with Perry Pro Tech in the past, and the staff at TPS has been very pleased with their working relationship with them.

“We’ve been talking about this for several years, and certainly this is a priority because of the safety of our students, but we’ve also realized people throughout the community have access to our building and we aren’t able to control that in a way we feel comfortable,” Coffin said. “This gives us control of who enters the building not just when students are there, but also when they are not.”

The cards will be given to TPS staff, coaches and outside facilitators who come in and work with groups or clubs in the evenings and on weekends. The cards will contain a different set of access times for each staff member, so they will be able to enter the building within these designated times. Perry Pro Tech will also install security cameras at every entrance, so the school can monitor who enters and exits the building.

During public comment, parent Tim Smith had criticism for the board regarding the basketball program at THS. “The problem I’m having is you bend over backwards for the MIPs and some of the felonies, but you’re not willing to bend for a good kid,” Smith said. “All we’re asking out of this as parents is to put yourself in our shoes. I’m just looking for somebody to do something for our child instead of nothing.”

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Tecumseh Herald

 

110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286
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