LVC Student Trains Others for Active Shooter Situations
When Lauren Sigmon ’20 learned that she had to complete active shooter training as part of her education curriculum, she was scared. Then she thought about the shootings in Orlando and Las Vegas, among others, and became angry.
She took that anger and fear and turned it into positive action.
While Sigmon received her training because of her major, she wanted to make the training available to all students on campus.
“Many people forget that shootings do not only occur in schools,” she said. “In fact, the majority of mass shootings occur in business settings.”
Sigmon approached Brent Oberholtzer, the College’s director of public safety, and Dr. Laura Eldred, assistant dean and the director of the general education program, about implementing ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training for all first-year students. Knowing that there are about 500 first-year students and a limited number of trainers, Sigmon took it upon herself to become certified.
This past summer, she registered online for the two-day course in Maryland and paid the $600 cost out of her own pocket. The training included a deeper education of ALICE and active shooter simulations with NERF guns.
Once she arrived back on campus as a certified trainer, Sigmon observed the public safety officer teach a session and then eventually taught a class of her own.
“The students were very engaged and willing to participate in the dialogue of active shooter training,” said Sigmon. “After the lesson, students told me that they felt more empowered to survive in an active shooter situation if the circumstance ever happened to them. I left the classroom feeling happy that I had helped so many students conquer the discussion of this difficult topic.”
Because of the time and dedication of Sigmon’s ALICE efforts, she will receive credit for her immersive experience requirement toward graduation.
The ALICE training builds on Sigmon’s previous involvement in the College’s active bystander violence intervention program. She lives in campus housing with other students dedicated to the same cause and is planning events related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and other awareness initiatives important to the campus community.