As our children return to school, they may hear words of instruction that direct them to “Run, Hide, Fight.” This protocol has been developed to create a safety procedure if an intruder enters a school setting and poses a threat. My daughter, a senior in high school this year, told us this was discussed on the first day of school. I was not surprised, and I was glad that safety measures are implemented.
Things have changed greatly since I went to school. We had fire drills but never lockdown drills.
As a teacher, I am responsible for my students’ safety, and I have had to practice these drills. Recently, my niece, Julie, a high school Spanish/Math teacher had to take cover during a lockdown. This lockdown was not scheduled. It was a false alarm, but they did not know this at the time, and they had to go through the procedures as if there was a real threat to school safety.
As the classes were transitioning, the alarm went off. Everyone scurried into a classroom. Julie’s daughter also attends the high school where she teaches. All of a sudden, Julie had to go from teacher to mom mode, and she looked in the hallway for her daughter. In the nick of time, Julie spotted her daughter and told her to come inside the classroom. Once she locked the door, they had to remain quiet and hide. The students were pretty shaken. Many started to cry in a panic. Then, Julie told them she was going to pray. She did, and the lockdown turned out to be a false alarm accidentally set off by a student.
Unfortunately, this is the reality that our children and teachers are facing. In thinking about the spiritual parallel to the words “run, hide, fight,” here are some examples.
The “run” part of the procedure directs everyone to run out of the building and evacuate if possible, particularly if students are not within the supervision of their teacher, as in the case of Julie’s scenario when students were transitioning from class to class. This can also apply to when students are arriving to school or at the end of the day when they are not with their teacher.
Isaiah 40:31 paints the picture of running by renewing our strength and mounting up with wings as eagles. This imagery depicts the power we have in our spiritual lives when we pray in faith, especially during a time of waiting. The Lord gives us the ability to renew our strength and draw close to God as eagles mount up to the sun. As our children are being instructed to run, may they have no fear and mount their wings as an eagle and draw close to God as my niece, Julie, did when she told the students she was going to pray.
When escape is not an option, the students are instructed to hide in an area that can be locked, not make any sound and/or turn off any devices that can emit a sound. Psalms 91:4 provides comfort by stating, “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” May our children feel the comfort of the Lord just as chicks feel safety under the wings of their mother hen. A buckler is a small shield held on the left arm. In doing some research on this term, I read that a fighter would rather push a blow aside than catch it from this forceful shield. Since bucklers are used with great force, the fighter can hit or corner someone using a buckler as a form of defense. May our children feel the comfort of the Lord wrapping His loving arms around them along with His power, which shields them and fights their battles.
During the “fight” part of the procedure, students are taught to grab anything they can and throw it at an intruder such as pencils, erasers, books, etc. The purpose of this is to distract the intruder and allow more time for police to arrive on the scene. Ultimately, may the Lord equip our children with the Sword of the Spirit as outlined in Ephesians 6:17. The scriptures immediately define the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. May the word of God sink deep into our children’s minds and hearts and instruct them in what to do.
Let’s lift our children and teachers up in prayer as they return to school. May they run in the strength of the Lord, hide in the safety of our Father’s arms, and keep the word of God close to their hearts, which is truly the best way to “run, hide, and fight.”
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.