Active Shooter Training - Alachua County Florida

Teachers Were Injured After Being Shot With Plastic Pellets "Execution-Style" During An Active Shooter Drill

The White County Sheriff's Department told the local teachers union that shooting teachers with pellets was part of the curriculum of ALICE trainings that provide "proactive response options" during violent incidents, according to the ISTA.


Alachua County Public Schools Safety and Security

Alachua County Public Schools’ Office of Safety and Security was established to direct and oversee all safety and security-related activities in the district. That includes collaboration with local law enforcement, training for students and staff, ‘hardening’ of facilities, crisis response and other issues.

The new office is led by Chief Casey Hamilton, who recently retired from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and has more than twenty years of law enforcement experience, including several as a school resource officer.

A law passed by the Florida Legislature in the spring of 2018 requires a full time school resource officer/deputy at all public schools. Thanks to an ongoing partnership with local law enforcement agencies, Alachua County Public Schools has had SROs/SRDs assigned to every school for several years now. Additional officers have been hired to fully implement the new law.

The law also mandates training for all public school employees and students to prepare them for an active threat on campus, such as an armed assailant. Again, Alachua County Public Schools already had a head start on this requirement, having conducting ALICE training (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training with employees during the 2016-17 and 2018-19 school years and provided opportunities for parents to receive the training as well. ALICE is a nationally-recognized and very highly-regarded program used in many schools and other settings throughout the nation.

By law, all students must receive age-appropriate ALICE training during the first week of school and again during the first week of the second semester, which falls in January. The training will include both videos and direct discussion between students and teachers. Links to the video and other information about ALICE is provided below.

Parents and students have a very important role to play in ensuring the safety of our campuses. We encourage you and your children to report any concerns, suspicious activity, troubling social media postings or other issues to your principal, teacher, school resource officer or other adult at the school.

Please be assured that the safety of students, staff and visitors to our schools is Alachua County Public Schools’ top priority.


Alice Training at Work

1/30/2017 ALICE Instructor Certification Training (2 days) - $595

2/15/2018 Schools Prepare For the Worst

By Deborah Strange
Posted Feb 15, 2018 at 6:06 PM Updated Feb 15, 2018 at 6:16 PM

District schools undergo training for active shooter scenarios.

Last summer, Alachua County school administrators went through training to prepare for an active shooting. That inspired the Newberry High School FFA to take action.

The students in the agriculture and leadership group assembled door barricades to prevent a shooter from entering a room: pieces of wood attached to rope to lock a door handle in place.

The group made enough to share with Oak View Middle School, which received a batch last week, district spokeswoman Jackie Johnson said.

The barricades help keep intruders out if they have a key to the door, she said.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Deputy PJ Mauldin, a school resource officer at Wiles Elementary School, said the training program, ALICE (for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate) prepares individuals to lock and barricade doors or evacuate if a shooter is on campus.

During a mass shooting, he said, the average death rate is one every three seconds.

“It goes really fast,” Mauldin said.

He added that shooters have learned the common practice of hiding students in closets. If a door is locked and barricaded, a shooter is likely to move on.

“They take the path of least resistance,” Mauldin said.

Many district schools now have a policy of locking their classroom doors during the school day, he said. If a student is late, teachers can look out their door window to see it’s a student, not an intruder, trying to enter.

But there’s still more to be done to prepare for mass shootings, he said.

Schools practice fire drills about once a month, but there haven’t been major deaths in school fires for about 50 years, he said. Lockdowns, however, are practiced twice a year.

“That’s the main thing that needs to change,” Mauldin said. Training doesn’t have to be limited to drills, he added; they can include class discussions with students and teachers.


7/10/2018: I-TEAM goes inside first-of-its-kind training to protect children
Alachua law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics in school shooting drill

7/11/2018: I-TEAM goes inside first-of-its-kind training to protect children

1/2/2019: Oak Hall School faculty members participate in active shooter training

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)-- After the tragedy in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Oak Hall School is taking the steps to prepare during an active shooter training today.

Alachua County Sheriff's deputies and Gainesville police officers were on hand to arrange active shooter scenarios in the auditorium, cafeteria and in classrooms. 


3/25/2019: Schools begin monthly ‘active threat’ drills

Posted Mar 25, 2019 at 6:44 PM Updated Mar 26, 2019 at 11:31 AM

Some drills will focus on preparation for an armed assailant

Children as young as 3 years old in Alachua County — and around the state — will now participate in active threat drills at school every month.

The Alachua County School District sent parents email and text notifications Monday that said students and school employees will begin monthly drills beginning in April.

Some drills will focus on preparing children and teachers for an armed assailant.

Following the Florida Legislature’s passage of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, schools are required to participate in the monthly drills. Students, from Head Start through 12th grade, will receive age-appropriate ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training.

Educational videos also will be shown.

Children who are 3 and 4 years old and in the district’s Head Start program will also have to do lockdown and evacuation drills. The district had already been doing ALICE drills, but are now forced to them monthly.

Last year, 17 people — mostly students — were killed in the Parkland school shooting.

Some of the Legislature’s solutions involved putting armed officers and deputies, also known as school resource officers (SROs), in every public school and allowing some school personnel to carry a gun on campus.

Alachua County officials have objected to arming teachers but have SROs for every school. The county’s charter schools have trained, armed “guardians” on campus.

Last week, New Zealand announced it would ban assault rifles after 49 people were killed in a mosque. Also last week, a 19-year-old Stoneman Douglas graduate who survived the shooting committed suicide after fighting post-traumatic stress from the tragedy.

Other Parkland survivors have called for stricter gun laws, but with little luck., a website dedicated to victims of gun violence and bringing awareness to the issue, says more than 1,200 children have been killed since the Parkland shooting.

Alachua County School District officials are urging parents to update their contact information and opt into the district’s messenger system to receive texts and emails before each drill.

Parents can opt in by texting “yes” or “y” to 67587. The text must be sent from a number currently on file with the school system. For more information, visit

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the age of children who must participate in drills.