Blog Archives

Spring Valley High School police – student altercation analysis: A failure of administration and School Resource Officer (SRO) best practices

Posted by on November 2, 2015

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 […]

School officer shoots burglar suspect; school police not 2nd class

Posted by on May 3, 2012

The shooting of a suspected burglar by a Pasadena (Texas) school police officer appears to have triggered an immediate scrutiny of school police officers as much as it did a scrutiny of the shooting itself. The suspect, an eighth-grader, was shot by the officer who responded to a school trailer burglar alarm at 12:30 a.m. […]

Why adequate supervision is critical to good school safety

Posted by on December 26, 2011

A female is allegedly raped in a gym restroom.  A student is assaulted in a hallway during class change.  A stranger is found in an elementary school restroom. The first question raised by parents, the media and perhaps eventually lawyers is: “Was supervision adequate?” The answer to that question must be assessed on a case-by-case […]

What Parents Expect After a Shooting & Pipe Bombs at School

Posted by on September 24, 2010

  A 14-year-old South Carolina high school student shoots at a school resource officer (SRO).  He has two pipe bombs in his backpack.  A search of the student’s home finds a wide array of items including shotgun and handgun shells, multiple cigarette lighters, exploded bomb pieces, 14 carbon dioxide cartridges, and the list goes on. Authorities later find […]

Gunman at TN School: Do You Want Police or a Climate Survey?

Posted by on August 31, 2010

A 62-year-old gunman pointed a .380 semi-automatic gun in a Tennessee Principal’s face yesterday. The School Resource Officer (SRO) drew her gun and shielded the Principal’s body with her own.  The principal, Melanie Riden, was able to flee the area. The SRO, Sheriff’s Deputy Carolyn Gudger, lured the gunman into the  empty high school cafeteria — a more contained […]

Tying Educators’ Hands In School Safety Efforts

Posted by on April 6, 2010

Chuck Hibbert is a national school safety consultant (including for my company) and 21-year-veteran school district administrator over school security and school police services for a 15,000 student district in Indiana.  Chuck takes issue with ““Taking Safety Too Far: The Ill-Defined Role Police Play in Schools,” February 24th commentary article in Education Week by authors and civil rights advocates Johanna Wald […]

Anti-School Police Commentary Paints False School Safety Picture

Posted by on March 30, 2010

In ““Taking Safety Too Far: The Ill-Defined Role Police Play in Schools,” a February 24th commentary article in Education Week, authors and civil rights advocates Johanna Wald and Lisa Thurau presented what I believe to be a very skewed misrepresentation of school resource officers (SROs), school police, and administrators.  I responded with a letter to the editor […]

Debunking the “Schoolhouse to Jailhouse” and “Zero Tolerance” Rhetoric – Part 2

Posted by on March 23, 2010

More Perspective on The Civil Rights Attack on School Discipline In my last post entitled, “Debunking the “Schoolhouse to Jailhouse” and “Zero Tolerance” Rhetoric – Part 1,” and the post prior to that entitled, ““Zero Tolerance” Equals “Zero Common Sense”—Plus a Civil Rights Agenda?, I laid out some interesting and questionable examples of attacks on school administrators […]

School Police Departments and SRO Programs: An Analysis

Posted by on February 20, 2010

Three veteran school police and security administrators, in independent interviews this past week, each revealed three common threads of critical elements for successful school police and/or School Resource Officer (SRO)  programs: Selecting the right officer:  The officer must want to work in schools.  There must be a “good fit” for the officer and the school.  The […]

School Resource Officers (SROs): Training, Selection, and Communication are Keys

Posted by on February 19, 2010

Curt Lavarello has over 24 years experience in the field of school-based policing.  It doesn’t take him long to identify the top three critical elements of a successful School Resource Officer (SRO) program: Complete agency commitment to the program from the chief/sheriff and throughout all areas of the agency;  The selection and training of the right persons to […]