Ordinary citizens taught to fight back against campus shooters

Controversial ALICE program taught at SDSU

SAN DIEGO - Some ordinary citizens learned how to protect themselves against an active school campus shooter Tuesday.

San Diego State University is participating in a controversial program that teaches people to fight back against a shooter if they can't run away.

Trainers from Response Options were brought in to teach A.L.I.C.E., which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.

"If they can't escape, they're taught to actually fight back," said instructor Kerry Harris. "They may need to flee, they may need to hide, but they may also need to fight."

Opponents of the training said it would be more dangerous for young students.

"A.L.I.C.E. may have some applications for adults in a college setting, but it's a high-risk and high-liability idea for elementary and secondary students," said Ken Trump, a national school security consultant.

Harris disagreed, and said, "We're not teaching second-graders to seek out a gunman and to attack them."

Instructors said the training teaches people to use simple tricks like throwing things at a gunman who's already in the room or barricading a door shut.

SDSU campus police have endorsed the training on campus the past four years.

"Inevitably, the people that are in the space are going to be the true first responders," said SDSU Police Capt. Lamine Secka.


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