MRUSD is holding an informational meeting about the Run, Hide, Fight options-based response to an active threat on October 13, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. An email was sent to parents introducing RHF on September 19th, the message is also added below. This meeting is open to all Maple Run community members to ask questions or simply listen to the presentation. Both in-person and remote options are available. The in-person location is at the Central Office, in the board room at 28 Catherine St. in St. Albans. Click here for the Zoom option.
9/13 Run, Hide, Fight Letter
Dear Maple Run Unified School District Families,
As part of our ongoing efforts to keep our learning community safe, this year we will be adopting a new protocol for responding to an active threat in our schools. At the recommendation of the Vermont School Safety Center, Vermont's Agency of Education, Department of Public Safety, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, we will begin the transition to what is known as an “options based” response protocol for addressing the unlikely event of an active threat in our schools. An options-based protocol empowers people to choose a response to an active threat situation based on the information they have in the moment, known as situational awareness. It teaches individuals to use the information at their disposal to do what they think is best to keep themselves and others safe.
This month, our staff will revisit the options based protocol, “Run/Hide/Fight,” so that they are prepared to instruct and explain this protocol to our students. The training for students, which will occur through the fall and winter, will consist of facilitated group discussions about the protocol and how to apply it to various scenarios. We feel strongly that while older students are aware of the possibility of school violence and can benefit from this training as an important life skill, younger students need only be instructed—as they are now—to follow the direction of their teacher as quickly and quietly as possible. Therefore, in our PreK-3rd grade, our schools will focus on why it is important to follow teacher directions and will practice these skills. Students in grades 4-12 will participate in class discussions about the Run/Hide/Fight protocol.
The district will be hosting an information session for families October 13th at 5:00 p.m. to provide an overview of the protocol and answer any questions you may have. Please watch our social media pages and website for more details in early October. Families will be notified after each training session involving students. Our school’s Student Support Teams will be providing accommodations and support for students who may be especially sensitive to these discussions.
The intention of this type of options-based instruction and eventual practice is to empower students with knowledge and choices in the event that they are in an unsafe environment. We recognize that discussion and practice may cause anxiety or even fear for students, but the emphasis will remain on, "If I am in an unsafe environment, I have options for how to get myself to safety." A shift from traditional lockdown drills empowers students and staff to recognize that based on the information available, the safest option may be to run or get away from the threat, to hide if getting away is not possible, or to fight if needed to keep themselves safe.
School violence is not something anyone wants to think about, but in today’s world we must do the best we can to be prepared. Thank you for your support in this effort.