Blog Archives

Fake news, fake claims: Dispelling school active shooter myths

Posted by on April 18, 2017

“Fake news” became a popular buzz phrase during the 2016 Presidential election. But fake news and fake claims also play a role in some national conversations and misrepresentations about school safety and school active shooters. Critical reading, analytical thinking and asking probing questions are necessary skills for serious learners of school safety best practices. Sandy Hook […]

ALICE training co-founder admits ‘counter’ tactic of students attacking gunmen has never been used by an ALICE-trained school class

Posted by on December 14, 2015

The co-creator of ALICE training admits that there is not one known ALICE-trained school that has ever used the controversial ALICE “counter” technique where students are taught to throw things and attack armed gunmen, according to an article last week by Education Week’s Evie Blad. Blad’s article opened by highlighting a recent Fox News’ Fox […]

ALICE Training Institute distances itself from Alabama school’s throwing canned food at gunmen, then reaches out to the school for “positive spin”

Posted by on January 17, 2015

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

Posted by on January 15, 2015

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, […]

School active shooter drills trigger lawsuit and injury claims

Posted by on September 4, 2014

School active shooters drills are intended to prepare for saving lives, but recent lawsuits and injury claims suggest that some drills may pose a greater risk of harm than good to training participants. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article entitled,” ‘Active Shooter’ Drills Spark Raft of Legal Complaints” tells of a teacher in Boardman, Ohio, who filed a […]

Teaching students to attack gunmen is NOT the standard of care

Posted by on February 24, 2014

Is teaching students to throw things at, and to attack, heavily armed gunmen really the new standard of care? This question was recently raised in a conversation I had with a veteran school security director for a large U.S. school district. He was concerned that some individuals may mistakenly be lead to believe that such […]

Exercise caution with full scale school active shooter exercises

Posted by on February 18, 2014

Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we have noticed an increase in first responders, primarily law enforcement, conducting full scale exercises at schools using staff and students. These exercises are also coming under increased scrutiny by the media and broader public, as reported this past weekend in the NBC stories Fake Blood and Blanks: Schools Stage […]

Research data appears not to support students fighting gunmen

Posted by on February 16, 2014

January, 2014* An academic research report often pointed to by advocates for teaching students and teachers to fight heavily armed gunmen presents data showing that the majority of 21 active shooters in K-12 schools were NOT stopped by citizens subduing the gunman. Data provided from a forthcoming book chapter on active shooters in schools by […]

School safety lessons: A teacher survives an active shooter

Posted by on October 23, 2013

Monday’s shooting at Sparks Middle School in Nevada ended with the tragic death of a math teacher and the student/shooter, and the injury of two other students. The teacher, Michael Landberry, a Marine and National Guard member who served multiple tours in Afghanistan, reportedly intervened in an effort to get the shooter to put down […]

Police use school to train for active school shooting incident

Posted by on April 13, 2012

Active shooters have captured more of the public’s attention in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and other public sites. While I have always emphasized not being alarmist and keeping context when discussing school shootings, it is prudent to include active shooter scenarios in training for law enforcement officials and their school partners. In Shepherdsville, Kentucky, […]