High school changes lockdown method, practices Run, Hide, Fight drills

Madison Muszynski, Staff Writer

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The high school practiced the new security drill method during Connect Advisory on Tuesday, November 12. The method, simply named “Run, Hide, Fight”, was first initiated by the City of Houston Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in 2012 in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security.

Learning from the past tragedies, the district came together to utilize the method, involving Board of Education members, local law enforcement, teachers and a roundtable of students. The implementation of the new drill has been in the works for the past year or so, according to Principal Scott Hurwitz.

“Last year, teachers across the whole district participated in a training program with the police department. We, as a district, also have regular safety committee meetings and are also involved in the state-wide practices on safety procedures,” Hurwitz said.

The Connect video also made sure to emphasize the importance of the simplicity of the title, noting that these incidents happen everywhere, not just in a school setting.

“We really tried to make it not so much school-focused strategy, but rather a life skill strategy. We figured having a discussion in school would be the best setting for it to happen,” Hurwitz said.
Farmington Police Chief Paul Melanson helped with the process.

“Last year I met with Superintendent [Kathy] Greider to discuss the concept of Run, Hide, Fight. The police department then conducted a presentation to all Farmington Public
School faculty, staff, and administration,” Melanson said.

After gathering information about different practices during an active threat situation, Melanson worked with Hurtwitz, teachers and staff, as well as Student Council members to create an informational video that was presented on Tuesday.

“Dr. Hurwitz and I met over the summer in order to plan the introduction of the concept. This included communicating and garnering feedback from FHS faculty, Principal Advisory Committee and Student Council members. Based on input from all, Dr. Hurwitz and I structured the presentation so as not to alarm students, yet to inform them,” Chief Melanson said.

Executive President senior Sophia Giuffria believes this protocol will help to ensure the safety of the students and staff in the district.

“I think the introduction of the new Run, Hide, Fight protocol is a step in the right direction for making FHS a safer school,” Giuffria said.

Senior Sia Goel also believes the new procedure will help with preparing students.

“The most significant takeaway from this experience would be knowing the necessary level of preparedness that all Farmington Public Schools must have to ensure school safety district-wide. School safety is not something to be taken lightly, and the Farmington School district did a very good job showing its students and faculty that it is well equipped with the necessary tools and measures to ensure a stable and safe environment,” Goel said.

Though the Run, Hide, Fight method was taught within the school’s setting, it can also be used outside in the real world.

“I feel that we have now equipped the students with a plan should they ever find themselves faced with an active aggressor. I hope that two other take-aways for the students are
the importance of camaraderie and community and also if they are ever concerned about something, tell a trusted adult,” Melanson said.

The Counseling Office is always open if find a student needs to talk to about something, whether it is regarding active threats or not. Any questions or suggestions with the Run, Hide, Fight procedure can be directed toward Hurwitz.