Choices: Run, Hide, Or Fight

The video “Run, Hide, Fight” outlines three responses to an active shooter incident, enacted at a work place. The same responses can potentially be utilized in other settings as well.

By North High School Resource Officer Chad Moen

portrait of Officer Chad MoenOver the past couple of years, schools have been showing their staff a video called “Run, Hide, Fight.”  Here’s the YouTube link to that video in case you haven’t seen it; the length is about five minutes.  The video depicts an active shooter incident acted out in a work place.  It provides three different responses to an active shooter situation: to run, to hide, or to fight, and gives tips on all three responses.

In the past, schools have almost exclusively trained for the “Hide” response, which includes locking doors and securing classrooms.  This may still be the best response, but what we have learned from past national incidents is to allow teachers/students to have different incident responses depending upon the situation.  If there is a threat on one end of the building, perhaps there’s an opportunity for people in the opposite side of the building to run to safety.  There is no one best way for an entire building to respond.  Some may need to hide, others will have the opportunity to run, while still others may be left with no other alternative than to fight.

Fargo North recently took the step of showing this video to all of our students.  Following the video, teachers took time to discuss the three different options with their students.  The goal is to have people take inventory of their surroundings in an effort to be prepared, whether that’s in a school, restaurant, shopping mall, or movie theater.  These lessons aren’t reserved only for school situations.

The feedback I’ve received from students and staff has been positive.  Staff like being empowered to make decisions based on the factors directly related to their current scenario.  Students like to know that the school is thinking of different options to keep them safe.  I’ve had a few students tell me they would run in a real incident and they are pleased to see that is now one of the response options.

A lot has changed in school safety over the years and we’re still learning the best ways to prevent school violence and how to respond when it comes to each building and situation.  This video does an excellent job giving three distinct choices on how to respond to an active shooter situation.  To me, it helps show the mindset, “I’m not going to be a victim.  I am going to act and I’m going to survive.”