School Safety » Run-Hide-Fight


In the event of an active shooter, the federal "Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans" recommends the Run-Hide-Fight approach as the standard response in schools. All PCM School District staff and students are trained to use this response. When faced with danger, individuals must swiftly decide the best way to protect themselves. Students are advised to follow the guidance of staff members during such situations.

There are three basic options: RUN, HIDE, and FIGHT.


1. RUN
If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of any police officers
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call 911 when you are safe


If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the active shooter's view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door)
  • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:
  • Lock the door
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture

If the active shooter is nearby:

  • Lock and block the door 
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
  • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
  • Remain quiet

If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:

  • Remain calm
  • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter's location
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen



As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Yelling
  • Committing to your actions


Some descriptions and content on Run. Hide. Fight. are taken directly from the Department of Homeland Security for how to respond in an active shooter or attacker situation properly. Read the full DHS text.


We are encouraging parents and guardians to understand the Run-Hide-Fight response and review it with their children outside school.  


RUN-HIDE-FIGHT Resources and Videos

Active Shooter Pocket Guide

Active Shooter Quick Reference Guide

Active Shooter Pamphlet