Run, hide, fight: A student’s right to empowerment

How to protect yourself agains an armed intruder.

Shelly Beraza



Whenever the news is on, another school shooting seems to be the topic. As society becomes increasingly connected through modern technology, people hear more stories about armed intruders and the associated dangers.

Pierce College Puyallup is designed to let nature in, with large windows, earth tones and open spaces.

“While K-12 facilities are designed to operate through selected controlled entrances and exits in most cases, our community colleges in contrast have completely open campuses,” Chris MacKersie, director of safety and assistant director of facilities, said.

Although an armed intruder on campus is extremely rare, it’s best that students are prepared for the worst-case scenario.

Procedures in place for Pierce College campuses in the case of an armed intruder can be found at

There are a couple things that students can do. If students are inside an office or classroom, they’re advised to barricade the door with any large, heavy object they can find. Turn off lights, silence cell phones and call 911.

Distance can be the difference between life and death for students that are caught outside. Run away from the intruder or hide and call 911.

If students are caught by an intruder, they should fight back by using nearby objects as weapons and going full force. Although this could be dangerous, it’s the best option in this situation.

Pierce College is working on spreading the word and opening up communication in the event of an emergency like this.

MacKersie said that they’re working on researching a public address system for the campuses in partnership with Institutional Technology. One option would be clocks with speakers installed for easy communication throughout the campus.

Another way to be notified is for all students to update their information on the mass notification communications page by logging in at


Student’s will login with their student identification number and pin. Once logged in, a student can update their information to be notified.

Notifications can be sent by text, home phone, mobile phone, school email and personal email. Text, emails, and voice notifications are the fastest way to receive information. Whenever there’s a number or email change, it should be updated here.

Pierce College also provides some great videos on exactly what to do during a school shooting. Shots Fired filmed at Eastern Washington University is a 20 minute film that tells students everything necessary for a school shooting situation.

To access the video, go to the Campus Safety page under emergency planning resources and click on Shots Fired under video training resources.

When clicking on the video, students will need to sign in twice. For those that would like to view the video, the username is campus and the password is safety.

This video has been shown to local tactical consultants for Lakewood and Puyallup Police Departments and they endorse the video as solid information.

Another great video for students that are pressed for time is Houston’s “Run, Hide, Fight” video on YouTube.

While the focus isn’t necessarily on a lock-down procedure, there’s focus on educating and empowering the individual student to be aware of their surroundings and thinking on their toes.

While neither Pierce College campus has had to deal with an armed intruder, the run, hide, fight principle pertains to any kind of situation and it is better to be prepared as a community and as a college to deal with these rare occurrences.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

Run, hide, fight: A student’s right to empowerment

by admin time to read: 2 min