Back-to-school means it is time for curriculum and scheduling tweaks, faculty meetings, parent communications and many other academic preparations. It also is time to review school security, emergency preparedness, supervision and other school safety fundamentals that should be included in your district and/or building safety to-do lists at the start of each year. A few […]
Tabletop exercises strengthen school security and emergency preparedness for a crisis
Security and emergency preparedness has been at the forefront as our hometown Cleveland prepares to host next week’s Republican National Convention, just on the heels of an impromptu 1.3 million fan downtown celebration of our NBA Champion Cavaliers basketball victory. The tragic attacks on Dallas police officers last week only heightened our local conversations about […]
Schools as terror targets: Paris and San Bernardino ISIS terrorist shooters’ interest in schools
Three chilling developments in recent weeks raise increased concerns about schools being in the crosshairs of ISIS-inspired terrorists. New public information since the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks include: A second wave of attacks by the ISIS-affiliated terrorists in Paris were interrupted just before the attacks were about to occur. According to news reports, […]
School terrorism preparedness: After the ISIS attack in Paris, is the U.S. the next target?
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 […]
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 […]
Franklin Regional High School stabbing: Was pulling the fire alarm the best practice?
One student stabbed and/or injured twenty-two students and staff on April 9th in the hallways of a Pennsylvania high school. Once again, a tragedy played out in the hallways of our schools. What is troubling to me is the continued media reports of what a “good” thing it was for an injured student to pull […]
Exercise caution with full scale school active shooter exercises
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 […]
Failed police radios at Sandy Hook raises common safety issue
Connecticut State Police two-way radios did not work inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to the Sandy Hook Final Report released last week by the Connecticut State’s Attorney. The failure of the radios to fully work does not appear to have been a major issue in resolving this event. However, it illustrates a fairly common issue we […]
Should school police have high-powered rifles in schools?
The Plainfield (IL) Police Department’s recent request to allow its School Resource Officers (SROs) to store AR-15 rifles in gun safes at their high school generated quite a buzz. (See the Chicago Tribune story entitled Assault rifles in schools a sign of the times.) But was the request really unreasonable? Actually, the request by the police is not unusual. […]
How Principals Can Conduct Integrity Checks on Safety Plans
Principals need leadership, not just money, to make their schools safer and better prepared for emergencies. While presenting a Monday regional workshop in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, on “Focusing on Fundamentals” of security and emergency preparedness, an assistant principal reminded me how easy and cost-effective it can be to stay on top of their school crisis […]