If terrorists want to strike at the heart of America, they will strike at its children. I made that comment before and after the 9/11 attacks on United States. This past weekend’s ISIS attacks in Paris, France, are a tragic reminder that this comment still applies now, if not more than ever, here in America […]
Spring Valley High School police – student altercation analysis: A failure of administration and School Resource Officer (SRO) best practices
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 […]
Dealing with a suicide death on campus: Tips for managing emotionality
Suicides of students, staff members and others in the school community present growing challenges to students, counselors, psychologists, administrators, teachers, school-based police and others in the school community. These challenges are intensified when the suicide occurs on campus. I am very saddened to read several media stories documenting student suicides that have occurred on school […]
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 […]
School emergency plans for after-hour weather, natural disasters
Several states and communities have recently been victimized by tornadoes and other severe weather. Many of these types of storms and other weather events occur after normal school dismissal time. How well prepared are your schools to manage an event of this nature when regular school operations are not in session? In our assessments we […]
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 […]
School safety assessments: A career-saving action for new and experienced superintendents
Recently I was speaking with a superintendent who is a client and a good friend. She mentioned that one of the best things she did in her first year as superintendent was have a safety and security assessment performed. Placing school safety at the top of the superintendent’s priority list The assessment was not on […]
Are schools wasting limited money on questionable security vendor products?
Since the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School, far too many schools have been looking for the one practice or device that will guarantee school safety. Not surprisingly, many service and product vendors have tried to meet that desire. While few vendors have been successful in meeting that need, a large amount of school safety […]
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, […]