Newton schools teaching new active shooter training

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NEWTON, Kan. (KAKE) -

Students in the Newton school district have always been taught to gather in the corner of a room and hide if an intruder enters the building, but that's about to change. They'll now be taught to run away if they can.

Superintendent Deborah Hamm says working with local law enforcement they've learned instead of hiding, the children should run, and do what ever they can to get away.

"It provides for many opportunities for students to get away, teachers to get away."

The training is called ALICE, and it stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. The training is being adopted by more and more school districts across the U.S. Newton  parents will be sent letters soon outlining plans for the new training.

Even the students at Cooper Early Education Center, who are between the ages of 3 and 5-years-old, will be practicing for an active shooter the same way high school students will. The students will be put through drills that teach them how to safely run away from the school.

Some school districts, like Wichita, don't teach younger students to run. Parents in Newton say don't see a problem with it.

"I think it's a really good idea to get them to start knowing what they need to do," Aimee Brown said.

"I think they can understand and why, again, whatever makes them safest is what they need to do and if that's what they need to know then that's what protects them," Brant Bergren said.

Hamm says if a gunman does enter the school, a warning will go out over the intercom. While practicing these drills can help, there is no guarantee everyone will escape unharmed. Parents say it's difficult to imagine their child going through these motions. But more and more, they understand it's become necessary.

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