Recently, the U.S. Department of Education released new protocols and updated procedures for active shooter situations, which have been outlined in the department's Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans. Seemingly moving away from traditional lockdown methods, these procedures call for three basic responses to an active shooter situation: run, hide, or fight.
As the first course of action, the department advises faculty to move themselves and the individuals in their care out of the building and far away until they are in a safe location. If this is not possible, students and staff are advised to hide in the safest room available, locking and barricading the door behind them and remaining as silent as possible. Finally, if running and hiding are not an option, the Department of Education calls for the use of aggressive force to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter, and urges staff members to utilize items, such as chairs and fire extinguishers, to help them do so. As no two active shooter situations are the same, the department's new guide emphasizes the importance of thorough staff training in order to make sure that all faculty members know the options available to them and can act quickly and decisively if property or lives are threatened.