By Mahita Gajanan
August 28, 2016

Schools in Alaska will implement an active training approach to teach teachers and students, from kindergarten to 12th grade, how to evade a school shooter.

The Anchorage School District will use ALICE (alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate) training to react in the event of a school shooter, joining about 11 other districts in Alaska and 3,700 districts across the U.S. that have adopted methods developed by the ALICE Training Institute, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.

“We’re not teaching people how to fight. We’re teaching people how to survive when there’s no other options,” Mark Davis, the school district’s director of security and safety, told ADN.

Unlike the passive traditional lockdown approach many schools use, ALICE training, developed by a Texas law enforcement officer in the wake of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, allows students to actively react to a shooter. The method encourages evacuation, and, as a last resort, attacking the shooter if necessary. Students will be trained to “counter” a shooter in different ways, depending on their grade level, Davis said.

“Anything is better than being passive because you already know why he’s there and what his purpose is,” Davis said, referring to a gunman. “So why make it easy on a person?”

Training for the ALICE program will cost the school district $56,000 this year plus $25,000 in each of the next two years for training renewal, the ADN reported.

Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com.

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