Response Options to a Violent Intruder

The Hanover Public Schools, in collaboration with the Hanover Police Department, adopted the A.L.I.C.E. training model in 2014 to better prepare staff and students to make life-saving decisions in the unlikely event of a violent attack in our schools.  All schools in Hanover conduct age-appropriate safety drills, with the assistance of the Hanover Police Department, multiple times each school year to practice the A.L.I.C.E. response options. 

The following outline describes what staff and students may choose to do in the event of an active shooter, or similar violent attack, in our schools.

Overview: These are response options to choose from, not sequential steps.  Trust your instincts and protect yourself and your students.  Use plain language to communicate information to help people make life-saving decisions.  Evacuation is the #1 option if safe to do so.


  • Immediately upon sight or sound of an active shooter or violent intruder event, the observing person will
    • Call 911 and administration
    • If you have enough information and can evacuate – do it!


  • If you cannot evacuate the building, take shelter, barricade the door, cover the windows, look for alternate escape routes, and prepare to counter if the barricade is breached


  • Listen to all updates provided from the command center and provide information to those around you to help make life-saving decisions


  • As a last option, and if active shooter is in your space and you cannot escape:
    • Gather anything to use as a weapon
    • Position yourself in the room in a location to give you the best chance of surprising the attacker upon entering
    • Use noise, movement and chaos to distract the attacker
    • Call 911 and notify law enforcement if you have incapacitated the shooter


  • At any point, if you can evacuate safely, do it!
    • Run in a zig-zag pattern with hands over your head.  Do not stop running until you are well clear of the building
    • Consider the risk and reward of using windows, roofs, or other alternate exits
  • If you have evacuated, report to law enforcement or another trusted adult