Parents next to receive ALICE training

Teachers are ready. Substitutes are ready. School administrators are ready.

Now, it’s parents’ turn.

Parents who volunteer with Oxford Schools now have the option to take ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) active-shooter training. Superintendent Tim Throne decided to give the option to parent volunteers after board of education trustee and Oxford parent Heather Shafer suggested it at the board’s Sept. 11 meeting.

“Heather, I want to give a shout out to you (and) thank you for your comments at the last board meeting,” Throne said. “Heather had asked about (ALICE) Training from a parent perspective… and up until that point we had planned and given training to our teachers and administrators… But there is another person that is out in our buildings every day, and that is parent volunteers.”

Though the training will not be required for parent volunteers as it is for teachers and other school staff, Throne wanted to give those parents patrolling the halls and helping out at events the opportunity to be part of the solution during the most unfortunate of circumstances that the board hopes never afflict Oxford.

“We are going to open up our ALICE Training to any parent volunteer who is in our building during the day,” he said. “We’re not going to make it a requirement, but we are going to provide it if they want to take advantage of it.”

Shafer, who made the initial suggestion that parents and board trustees be as involved as possible, was happy to see her voice heard and make a change that could help others.

“I want to thank Tim (Throne) for recognizing the importance of volunteers, because I think people who volunteer their time keep the wheels turning,” she said.

Trustee Dan D’Alessandro also voiced approval that Oxford students will now have an even larger slew of prepared adults in their school buildings.

“That’s what (these meetings) are for,” he said. “This is for having a conversation, and those conversations open up thoughts. We’re going to do some things for parents who want to get involved with ALICE Training, and (Shafer’s idea) was a good suggestion.”

The board of education will meet again at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 9 in Oxford High School.

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