School police association rejects training students to attack armed intruders
The national association representing school-based police officers does NOT endorse the idea of teaching students to throw objects and attack armed intruders, its executive director confirmed earlier today.
The association also does NOT endorse the idea of teaching school-based police officers to teach students to throw objects and attack armed intruders.
Mo Canady, Executive Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), provided written confirmation of NASRO’s position in an email to me this morning. NASRO has more than 3,000 members from across the United States and internationally.
NASRO position conflicts with ALICE training company statements
Canady’s message directly conflicts with public statements attributed to Greg Crane, head of the Texas-based company Response Options that provides “A.L.I.C.E.” training which includes teaching students to throw objects at armed gunmen. The company’s 2007 staff booklet states that after throwing objects, “While he’s busy ducking and covering his head from our air assault, we must now begin the ground assault.”
A.L.I.C.E. stands for Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Escape. The “Counter” component has created significant debate and some controversy with experienced school safety professionals and educators who question the concept and implementation behind teaching students to throw objects at and attack armed intruders.
In a series of online posts on the web site of a Boston news talk radio station, a Wednesday post attributed to Crane stated:
“Did you know that NASRO (National Association of School Resource Officers) is now going to offer enhanced lockdown strategies training for SRO’s? We have been contracted to conduct that training.”
Late Thursday, another post attributed to Crane stated:
“We have a contract with NASRO to teach Enhanced Lockdown Strategies. What do you think those strategies will be? The same ones that I have presented to them at 3 different annual conferences. ALiCE strategies.”
But on Wednesday, NASRO’s President Kevin Quinn wrote in an email:
“NASRO has entered into a agreement to have Greg Crane develop a new curriculum for us regarding Enhancing Lockdowns. As of right now, we do not have a draft of the course so I can’t speak to the details as of yet.”
Quinn went on to say that, “NASRO, as a not-for-profit, does not and can not endorse any product or outside course.” A.L.I.C.E. is a course outside of NASRO.
And as NASRO’s executive director Canady confirmed earlier today, the nation’s school-based policing association does not endorse the idea of teaching students to throw objects and attack armed intruders, nor does it endorse School Resource Officers providing such teaching.
Question grow on A.L.I.C.E. training and school-based officers teaching students to attack gunmen
Last week, the Boston Globe reported that the school board in Canton, MA, stopped the planned training of students in A.L.I.C.E. after questions arose by school board members amid objections from some parents. The superintendent was quoted as saying that the district was not ready to go beyond training of staff and that the district was under no time constraint to implement the program.
A closer look into the origins and history of the A.L.I.C.E. training program reveals that the school district in Burleson, TX, where the A.L.I.C.E. concept reportedly originally was developed, halted the training of students after public attention was drawn to the issue of students attacking armed intruders.
Crane has been attributed as saying that more than 300 districts have implemented A.L.I.C.E. training.
Questions have also been raised regarding how parents are notified about the actual content of A.L.I.C.E. training, especially the “Counter” component of teaching students to throw items at armed gunmen.
And now that the national association representing more than 3,000 school-based police officers is on the record indicating that it does not endorse teaching students to throw objects at, or to attack, armed gunmen, it will be interesting to see what potential conflicts and liability risks might arise for those officers who proceed with such training counter to the association’s position.
UPDATE: August 17, 2013
It has been brought to my attention that a web site selling ALICE Training is claiming that the above blog article misrepresents what NASRO stated, so I am copying below the full email response from NASRO’s Executive Director, Mo Canady. His message is pretty straightforward: ”NASRO does not endorse the idea of teaching students to throw objects and attack armed intruders.” Here is the email response in full so you can decide:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: KENTRUMP@aol.com, email@example.com CC: Kerri.Williamson@nasro.org Sent: 12/13/2012 7:59:34 A.M. Eastern Standard Time Subj: RE: Public information inquiry on NASRO and ALICE training
Good Morning Ken,
Thank you for your interest and your comments regarding yesterday’s senate hearing on “Ending the School to Prison Pipeline”. Overall I feel that the hearing went quite well. There were over 400 people in attendance which created quite a problem since there were only 246 seats available in the room! Excellent testimony was provided in defense of properly trained SRO’s and their effectiveness on the school campus.
In regards to your questions about ALICE training, please see my responses below…
Would NASRO even consider any curriculum for SROs that involves teaching students to throw objects and attack armed intruders? NASRO does not endorse the idea of teaching students to throw objects and attack armed intruders.
What concerns and issues does NASRO have, if any, on SROs teaching students to throw objects and attack armed intruders? NASRO does not endorse the idea of teaching SRO’s to teach students to throw objects and attack armed intruders?
Would SROs involved in teaching students to attack armed intruders risk furthering allegations by civil rights special interest groups that school police are fostering a “police state” climate that is excessive and inappropriate for students? I suppose that any action could risk further allegations, however NASRO does not endorse teaching students to attack armed intruders.
Thanks for your continued interest in the work that we are doing.
Executive Director NASRO
National Association of
School Resource Officers
(205) 281-5521 Cell
(205) 739-6063 Direct
(651) 286-0804 Fax
1-888-316-2776 NASRO Office
Join us July 14-19, 2013 for the 23rd SRO-SCHOOL SAFETY CONFERENCE in Orlando, Florida.