Run, Hide, Fight-even during the non-traditional times?


Sean Maley

Students in the lunch room during an active shooter situation are suggested to run out of the building through the closest possible exits.

Piper Pinnetti, Bullseye Social media and Advertising manager

Times are different from when our parents were in high school. Before the Columbine shooting in 1999, schools weren’t investing the time to go over the unfortunate possibility of an active shooter in the building.

Although it is impossible to fully prepare for this catastrophic event, there needs to be discussion and practice about what students and staff should do. Creating a game plan for your school community in the case of an active shooter in the building is more important than ever in 2019.

Around four years ago, Maize South High School began teaching and practicing the Run, Hide and Fight method.  Run, Hide, Fight is a three-step plan that is shared among the faculty, students and all school personnel to ensure safety in case of a dangerous intruder or event.

Maize South has repeatedly reminded students about these three options so students are aware of what to do while we are in a classroom. In theory, this plan seems to be a perfect solution. In reality, students and teachers were clueless in the sense of what actions to take during different times of the day.

When asked about a lunch time situation, Chad Christensen, a teacher at Maize South High School, said, “It used to be: get into the serving area and pull the doors down, go to the counseling office, or escape through the south doors.¨

Christensen seemed to be the only teacher interviewed for the story to have a specific idea of what students should do during lunch time or if they are in the cafeteria in general when an imminent danger emerges.

Students also expressed concerns on what to do during Mavtime and whether they go into a class, run, or hide in the bathrooms. 

Jennifer Peterson, an English teacher at Maize South High School, thinks students should play it safe and find the closest area with a locked door to enter.

 “The first thing you want to do is find a secure classroom that is closest, and just let the adult lock you in there,” Peterson said.

With around 100 students per block traveling for a class at Maize High or the Maize Career Academy, teachers and students both seemed confused about if RHF (Run, Hide, Fight) was still the action in play.

Even when students are traveling to these locations, the philosophies behind RHF still are intact, said Maize South High Principal Dave Hickerson.

 “They would utilize the Run, Hide, Fight protocol. If we needed to delay travel between the two facilities, we would certainly do that. We would be in constant communication with M.C.A., Maize High, the USD 266 central office, and law enforcement,” Hickerson said. 

Most recently, Assistant Principal Dave Nash spoke about RHF and emphasized that running is always the single best option in the case of an emergency.

“Running is probably going to be our best option,”  Nash said.

After students exit the building, their next option is to get somewhere safe. The football field is closest to the athletic entrance and cafeteria exits. Running to Maize South Middle School is another safe option for students and teachers who find themselves closer to the school. 

All in all, it’s good to know the “where.” Where the shooter is and where you are, and what the best options are for you at that moment.
Learning your way around the school and practicing what to do in an active shooter situation is the best way to keep you and others safe. There should never be confusion when it comes to the overall safety of students and school staff.