The viral video of a South Carolina School Resource Officer (SRO) dragging a female student out of a classroom chair raises as many questions about a failure of school administration as it raises questions about school officer tactics and best practices in school-based policing. Three wrongs a disaster makes “This situation was a no-win as […]
Swatting, school bomb and shooting threats: Are FBI federal charges coming soon?
Schools across the nation experienced an uptick in school bomb and shooting threats in recent weeks. Many of these threats are believed to have been made by local individuals such as students or former students. But there are also increasing indicators that a number of these threats are “swatting” incidents — hoax threats intended to trigger […]
Body cameras in schools: Are School Resource Officers (SROs) and principals missing the big picture?
How quickly will students rush to the assistant principal or School Resource Officer (SRO) to report a student carrying a gun, a school shooting plot, or abuse taking place at their home if these adults have a camera rolling on their personal conversation? Many students will view body cameras as an instant barrier that only reinforces their […]
Ohio school safety policy should be barricaded from politics
A highly emotional controversy is spreading across Ohio over classroom door barricades. Advocates are touting these devices as a way to lock out potential school shooters. They are ignoring the very real dangers created if these barricades are used improperly or fall into the wrong hands. Imagine that your daughter is forced into an empty […]
Study finds rapid escalation of violent school threats
[Originally published: 2/9/15; Updated: March, 2016] A nationwide epidemic of violent school threats is breeding fear, anxiety and frustration for educators, children and parents. While the vast majority of these threats are anonymous and turn out to be hoaxes, they have to be investigated and taken seriously. Hundreds of schools are losing classroom teaching time, […]
ALICE Training Institute distances itself from Alabama school’s throwing canned food at gunmen, then reaches out to the school for “positive spin”
Following days of national and international skeptical media attention and mockery of an Alabama middle school that asked parents to send canned food for students to throw at armed gunmen, the ALICE Training Institute on Friday distanced itself from the controversy before trying to “put a positive spin” on the adverse attention that put a dent […]
ALICE training gets kicked in the can: Alabama principal’s call for students to throw canned food to knock out gunmen gets nationwide, international skepticism
Alabama middle school principal Priscella Holley’s letter sent to parents last week saying that the school will be “arming our students with a canned food item” to “stun the intruder or even knock him out until police arrive” has triggered national and international skepticism. Holley, the principal of W.F. Burns Middle School in Valley, Alabama, […]
Why we can’t solve a human public safety issue with a technological quick-fix: The knee-jerk jump to security cameras and other gadgets from Sandy Hook to Ferguson, New York to Cleveland
“Call our financial advisor and move all of our investment money into body camera manufacturers,” I recently told my wife. My comment was made tongue-in-cheek in reflection of the pathetic state of our public policy reaction to a public safety crisis, rather than as a passing joke or disrespectful and glib response to one of […]
Five lessons from the NFL for school superintendents, boards and principals
Domestic violence and child abuse cases involving National Football League (NFL) players have dominated the headlines this week. How the NFL and individual teams have managed, or in some aspects mismanaged, the cases have been even a bigger focus of news coverage. The NFL experience provides five important teachable moments for superintendents, school boards and principals […]
When was the last time your school did a non-custodial parent safety drill?
Your school does active shooter drills, but when was the last time you did a non-custodial parent drill? We have seen countless numbers of active shooter drills and exercises conducted since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings less than two years ago. Police tactical teams have worked with school principals and superintendents to fine tune […]