Blog Archives

Are superintendents and school boards flying blind when buying school security technology and products? A leading AI weapons detection company is reportedly facing two federal investigations. But would school leaders even know when questions exist about school security vendors?

Posted by on February 24, 2024

Scrutiny and questions ramp up on school security vendors and the growing “school security industrial complex” A leading AI weapons detection company is reportedly under a second federal investigation according to multiple reports this week, including IPVM (https://ipvm.com/reports/sec-evolv) and Security System News (https://www.securitysystemsnews.com/article/evolv-technology-gives-regulatory-update-following-sec-request) Industry reports and company releases indicate both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) […]

“Dancing with the Devil”: How some education associations and school safety conference organizers are selling their souls and conference agendas to security vendors — and potentially increasing school safety and liability risks for superintendents and school boards

Posted by on February 18, 2024

“Unfortunately, we increasingly have to dance with the devil.” More than a decade ago, these words were said to me by a now long-retired head of a national association for school leaders. He was explaining to me why he had to fill a few annual convention speaking slots with vendor-affiliated speakers rather than more experienced […]

Mother of Oxford school shooter found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Landmark? Yes. Precedent for all future school shootings? Probably not.

Posted by on February 6, 2024

A jury found Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of shooter in the Oxford (MI) High School school shooting case, guilty on four counts of involuntary manslaughter for the loss of lives in the attack. See https://apnews.com/article/oxford-high-school-mother-charged-01f336607a496c5f9ff0cb3a7434d073 A landmark case This is a landmark case in being the first we can recall where a parent has been […]

Why voluminous school emergency/crisis templates are setting up school leaders for disaster – and why the absence of engaged school emergency/crisis teams is inexcusable

Posted by on January 20, 2024

The U.S. Department of Justice review of the Uvalde school shooting observed that, “UCISD’s campus safety teams met infrequently, and annual safety plans were based largely on templated information that was, at times, inaccurate.” (See https://portal.cops.usdoj.gov/resourcecenter/content.ashx/cops-r1141-pub.pdf ) The template approach to school safety is failing school leaders and school security officials. Filling in the blanks […]

Dr. Ken Trump’s school safety, security, and emergency preparedness forecast for 2024

Posted by on January 2, 2024

The beginning of a new year is an excellent time to reflect on the prior year and ponder what the next year may bring. As in our personal lives, professional observations may vary and forecasts will often not pan out. But looking from the lens of others can add perspective and depth to our views […]

School security vendors say educators are not tapping into their training for products and tech they sell to schools, but principals say they are not getting enough training. Where is the disconnect?

Posted by on December 5, 2023

School principals tell us they are not receiving adequate training for using the security products and technology purchased by their districts. One principal told us he spent nearly three hours trying to track down the movement of one specific identified student using new cameras installed in his district. Building principals have noted from time to […]

When “layers of security” becomes a spin phrase to dodge questions about gaps and limitations of school security products, hardware, and technology

Posted by on November 21, 2023

The most novice of security students understand that the concept of “layers of security” is a basic concept of professional security practices.  The basic premise in the simplest of explanations is that multiple layers of security may lower risks of full security breaches. While a basic concept to security professionals, the concept — and more […]

Are security vendors setting up school leaders to fail? When superintendents and principals overpromise on school security, they lose their school community’s trust and confidence on school safety.

Posted by on November 18, 2023

School leaders turning to physical security measures such as metal detectors, AI weapons detection systems, panic buttons or badges, and other trendy measures should exercise caution not to overpromise school security to parents, teachers, and students. Superintendents and principals should avoid parroting vendor marketing claims and overpromising security Some security hardware, product, and tech vendors […]

International war and terrorism considerations for U.S. school security, emergency preparedness, and student support services

Posted by on October 11, 2023

The terror attack upon Israel this past weekend sent shockwaves across the world. Many U.S. school communities have strong family and cultural ties to Middle Eastern communities.  Fear, anxiety, and ambiguity runs high in families and communities with personal connections to this conflict, and across the world in general. As strategic school security leaders, when […]

Peeling back the onion: Strong collaborative models requiring time and persistence are the core of effective school security and emergency preparedness programs (insights from Dr. Stephen Bayne)

Posted by on October 9, 2023

The best school security and emergency preparedness is often less visible or even invisible. Research and decades of school safety experience point to the importance of relationships and collaboration within school communities.  Dr. Stephen Bayne, a veteran California school safety and emergency preparedness expert, graciously shares his insights based upon his years of experience in […]