Practical School Security: Basic Guidelines for Safe and Secure Schools

Practical School Security: Basic Guidelines for Safe and Secure Schools, published by Corwin Press (a Sage Publications Company), represents what educators, law enforcement officers, and community members have been asking for in one book: a simple, concise, and thorough explanation of basic professional school security issues and practices. It has been featured in TV, radio, and print media across the nation, such as The National PTA Magazine, and has received top reviews, including in the American Society for Industrial Security’s Security Management magazine. The book, published in 1998, is a multiple printing best-seller!

Written by Kenneth S. Trump, M.P.A., Practical School Security is written by a career school security professional who has worked as a school officer, investigator, youth gang unit supervisor, director and national consultant for 25 years in 45 states on school security and emergency preparedness issues. (See Ken Trump’s biography for more author details.)

What’s in it for you? In the book’s foreword, Dr. C. Ronald Huff, Director and Professor, School of Public Policy and Management, The Ohio State University, notes: “Whenever I need information concerning school safety and security issues, there are few people in the country to whom I know I can turn for accurate and complete answers, and Ken Trump is one of them. With the publication of this book, you will be able to benefit, as I have, from his expertise.”

Practical School Security contains:

  • Over 150 basic points for implementing effective school security policies, procedures, and programs
  • 150 “Reality Check” questions to determine if your school staff understands security issues
  • 13 critical security policy topics
  • 15 “What If” situations to be included in all crisis guidelines
  • 17 tips for reducing personal safety risks for school personnel
  • 10 reasons for collaboration with the broader school community, including 7 points for successfully handling media relations
  • How to handle denial and the “politricks” of school security while “safely” addressing the actual problems
  • Security assessments: What are the methods? Who should assess? What are common pitfalls and benefits?
  • Assessment components: Policies and procedures, staffing and operations, crisis preparedness, personnel security, physical security (access, key, and inventory control; lighting; +), training, and much more
  • Popular security strategies and issues including: computer protection, drug-sniffing dogs, hotlines, lockers and bookbags, metal detectors and cameras, personal safety (handling angry parents, intervening safely in fights, reducing staff victimization, use of force), sex offenses, student searches, transportation security, trespassing, uniforms and dress codes, vandalism, and more


Contents: Foreword by C. Ronald Huff / Preface / I. Myths and Realities of School Violence / 1. Threats to Safe and Secure Schools / 2. The “Politricks” of School Security / 3. Safely Managing the Problem / II. School Security Basics / 4. The Security Assessment Process / 5. Security Assessment Components / 6. Popular Security Strategies and Issues / 7. Working Collaboratively With Students, Parents, Police, Community, and Media / Recommended Readings / References (copyright 1998, Corwin Press)

Regular Orders

The book costs only $19.95 (paperback) or $45.95 (hardcover), plus shipping and handling charges. To order, contact Corwin Press/Sage Publications directly at their customer service line at 1-800-818-7243 or visit their web site at Corwin Press.

Volume Discount Orders

In response to requests from numerous clients, Corwin Press has arranged a special discount offer for multiple books purchased for use in our training programs. Volume order discounts are also available for school districts, professional organizations, and other agencies and individuals interested in making quantity purchases. Inquiries should be made directly to the publisher at their customer service line at 1-800-818-7243 or visit their web site at Corwin Press.

Discounts are available for volume orders!

Quotes from the field about Practical School Security include…

“Thank you so much…I will keep your thoughts in mind as my Administration continues to address the problem of violence that is confronting many of our nation’s schools.” President Bill Clinton

“Thank you very much…I have taken the liberty of sharing it with Department of Justice staff who work on youth violence issues.” Janet Reno, United States Attorney General

“The subject of your book certainly should be of interest to every community in the United States, and I am sure the field will find it a useful tool to help provide safe and secure schools…Congratulations on the publication of a book filled with valuable, practical recommendations for making schools safer places for children and staff alike.” Shay Bilchik, Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice

“What attracted me to the book was its practicality. It showed me that there is no need for rock walls, or ten foot fences. Mr. Trump’s differentiation between law enforcement and security is the key. A vast amount of knowledge that will help us keep our children safe is contained in this book.” Randy Wright, Chairman, Board of Education, McCracken County Public Schools; Paducah, Kentucky

“In this excellent book, author Ken Trump gives the problem its due…The book is packed with explosive concepts and insights that speak volumes about security at schools…Trump provides clear direction for implementing security, and in few words at that. This book is highly recommended for both security personnel and school administrators.” Frederick D. Zagurski, Reviewer for Security Management magazine, American Society for Industrial Security

“Trump’s book is an outstanding guide to school security. His wealth of experience and knowledge of contributive factors and practical solutions make his book invaluable to school administrators and other officials.” Dr. James “Buddy” Howell, Researcher on Gangs and Juvenile Justice

“Covers every possible security issue. A practical ‘nuts-and-bolts’ approach with concrete ideas that are usable in all schools.” Larry Leapley, Principal, Trenton High School, Michigan

“I enjoyed reading it and even picked up on some new pointers that I used in giving testimony concerning a liability case…easy to understand and covers the vast majority of issues concerning safe schools. It provides all the elements that school administrators need to establish an effective, safe learning environment!” E.O. “Red” McAllister, Ret., Chief of Police, Dade County Public Schools, Miami, Florida

“In a field that is filled with pseudo experts and charlatans, Ken Trump’s book ‘Practical School Security’ is the real deal. It is a book that can be used by the school administrator looking for help with many school safety situations or it can be used by the experienced safety professional looking for a fresh approach to today’s schools problems.” Chuck Hibbert, Coordinator of Safety and Security, Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, Indianapolis, Indiana

“…shrewd insights, firsthand experiences, and practical advice on topics ranging from building assessment to gang myths. Every school administrator will value his tips…Trump gets right to the point and tells you what he thinks on every page.” Dr. Dewey G. Cornell, clinical psychologist and associate professor of education, and Director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project, University of Virginia

“A rare look into the real world of school security against the backdrop of institutional politics and public relations. This book serves as a timely wakeup call for decision-makers as well as local communities wishing to truly improve the level of safety in American schools.” Lt. Loren A. Evenrud, Ph.D., Minneapolis Park Police

“It provides a blueprint for anyone interested in enhancing school security and the learning environment. This book provides a realistic and perceptive approach to school safety – an often politically-charged issue. Must reading for both policy-makers and practitioners.”Michael Walker, Executive Director, Partnership for a Safer Cleveland

“Practical, cost-effective security strategies. A great reference book!” former Chief John R. Fechko, Seven Hills (Ohio) Police Department