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article imageA shooter in the school? ALICE suggests throwing canned food

By Karen Graham     Jan 14, 2015 in Crime
Valley - The principal of a middle school in Valley, Alabama sent a letter home to parents saying the school wants to arm students with canned food "as a result of school shootings."
The letter was sent to parents by school administrators after faculty members received training through Auburn’s Public Safety and Security Department in the "active shooter response" program called ALICE ( (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate).
Principal Priscilla Holley explained in the letter she wants each child to be armed with an eight-ounce canned food item, kept handy "in case they need to throw it at an intruder."
In part, the letter reads, "As a result of school shootings throughout the United States and discussing with law enforcement on the best procedure to follow to keep our students safe, we are enhancing our procedure for intruders."
Parents were assured that the procedures in place already are the same, with one addition, the canned food. The letter claims this will “empower students to protect themselves and will make them feel secure.” The letter goes on to say that while the canned food may seem odd, it would catch an intruder off guard, with the canned food item possibly even stunning or knocking out the intruder until police could arrive.
According to, the letter has been reposted thousands of times across the Internet, and not everyone is sympathetic to the idea of arming children with cans of food for protection. Most seem to question the effectiveness of such a response.
According to CNN, Chambers County School Superintendent Kelli Moore Hodge did say the middle school didn't fully prepare people before sending the letter to parents. She explained in an email that the canned food is just one part of the training.
"The major point of the training (which is called ALICE - Alert, Lockdown, Inform, counter, and evacuate) is to be able to get kids evacuated and not be sitting ducks hiding under desks," Hodge wrote in an email.
The Auburn University ALICE video suggests that once an intruder is in the school, classroom doors should be closed, locked, and barricaded and students moved to an area out of sight of the door. Now is the time to think of a plan of attack should the intruder break into the room.
According to the ALICE video, this is where the canned goods and anything else that can be thrown at the intruder, comes into play. The narrator in the video says, "Communicate with others around you and tell them your plan. Don't wait until the aggressor gets into your safe area to have a plan of action." And this is where a can of beans could come in handy.
More about Alice, School shootings, arming students, canned goods, threat of violence
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