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A.L.I.C.E. Training

by Sandra Faulkner

[Editor’s Note: Click on the triptych below to view it at full size.]

Sandra L. Faulkner is Professor of Communication and Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at BGSU. Her poetry has appeared in Literary Mama, Ithaca Lit, Gulf Stream, damselfly and elsewhere. Her latest book is Real Women Run: Running as Feminist Embodiment (Routledge). She knits, runs, and writes poetry about her feminist middle aged rage in NW Ohio with her partner, their warrior girl, and two rescue mutts. https://bgsu.academia.edu/SandraFaulkner

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “A.L.I.C.E. Training””?

My daughter is getting out of 4th grade a day early for Holiday break this year, because her teachers are doing an all-day ALICE training. Is this real? Teachers as bullet-proof vests. I started writing this piece when I skipped the mandatory ALICE training at my university. I remembered Sandy Hook, and how I sat in my office crying when I heard about all of those children killed by bullets. I was paralyzed in my office as my daughter sat in preschool. Being in education is like being a target for gun violence. We still do not have sensible gun laws, and I am still shocked that we love guns more than we love people. I am certain more guns are not the answer. I am certain that me sitting in training will not prepare me to be a human shield. I turned to words, the only thing I can use as a weapon and as preparation for our sickness and obsession with guns.

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