If we do not make changes, then our past will determine our future and we will continue to have school shootings. This statement was a part of my first testimony before Congress in March of 1999 shortly before the massacre at Columbine High School. My testimony focused on the need for increased mental health services […]
Category Archive: Columbine and School Safety
School safety deja vu: Columbine lessons still apply 15 years later
The shooting deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, sent shockwaves across the nation in December of 2012. This was not the first time that educators and safety officials received a punch in the gut and a major wakeup call to assess school security. But the lessons from the first punch still ring […]
School Safety Book Tackles Columbine Anniversary Challenges
What have we learned and what is the state of school security and emergency planning 12 years after the Columbine High School attack in 1999? The answer is simple: We need to return to a focus on the fundamentals. A new generation of school board members, superintendents, central office administrators, school safety specialists, principals, teachers, […]
Have Students Forgotten the Lessons of Columbine?
An Arizona student with a loaded gun reportedly intended to shoot a teacher. Students knew he had a gun the week before. Have students forgotten the lessons of Columbine? One of the top lessons from the 1999 attack at Columbine High School is that students often know ahead of time of a potential threat to school […]
How a Pre-Columbine Mindset is Threatening School Safety
Shootings, hit lists, explosives, and even a murder do not seem to be keeping some school administrators and boards from hunkering down into a pre-Columbine mentality on school safety. School Administrators and Boards Playing School Safety “On-the-Cheap” Hiding behind challenging fiscal times, some school “leaders” are playing school safety “on the cheap” in spite of […]
Back to the Future: School Safety at a Pre-Columbine Climate?
School safety budget cuts, educators distracted with academic reform, and skewed school safety policy and funding are creating a “deja vu” feeling for some school safety specialists who were around prior to the 1999 Columbine High School attack. As I recall, the focus on school safety in the months and years before the shootings in Pearl […]
Is Your Child’s School a Soft Target for Terrorism?
The 1999 Columbine High School attack has been referred to by many as an act of terrorism. Domestic terrorism, obviously, but still terrorism. Did the act fit the definition of terrorism? If not the formal definition, it certainly fits the concept. In my first book (Practical School Security), written back in 1998, I identified terrorism as one […]
The State of School Security Ten Years Post-Columbine
School Security Blog debuts this first week in January of 2010. We will quickly delve deeper together into the many facets of school safety, security, and emergency planning. But first we need to reflect on the state of school security. We can’t move forward without having a feel for where we have been and where we are today. So we begin with posts […]
The Columbine 10th Anniversary: Lessons Learned, Glaring Gaps
The Columbine 10th anniversary arrives on April 20, 2009. Anniversaries offer us time for reflection on lessons learned and future directions. The legacy of Columbine at its tenth anniversary is a mixed bag of lessons learned and implemented, with many glaring gaps and a lot of work remaining. The good news is that progress made on school […]