Category Archive: Crisis – Emergency Planning for Schools

Panic over panic buttons, guardians galore, and other school safety “legislation by anecdote”: Why lobbying based upon single incidents and high-profile tragedies does not necessarily make good school safety law.

Posted by on June 10, 2024

Several state legislatures have passed laws requiring schools to have panic buttons or similar emergency alert systems, often dubbed “Alyssa’s Law” based upon advocacy by a Florida parent who lost her daughter in the Parkland school shooting. A number of states have passed laws requiring all schools to have police officers or armed “guardians.” There […]

Cell phones and school safety: They are often disruptive to the educational process and can create unsafe conditions in an emergency. Yet many students and parents want them. Now, some politicians want to ban their use in schools.

Posted by on April 7, 2024

Teachers find that cell phones create classroom distractions. School administrators find they accelerate bullying and conflicts. However, many students — and some very vocal parents — often feel they are essential to school safety. But are the cell phones an emotional security blanket for parents even more than a security tool for students? Some now […]

Are parents a growing school security threat? Parents threatening, attacking students and teachers at schools

Posted by on March 24, 2024

The headlines include parents dressing down to bypass security and watch their kid attack another student, parents attacking a classroom teacher, and parents going after other students having conflicts with their kids. Principals and their school school safety teams prepare for many potential school security and emergency situations from school shootings to natural disasters and […]

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 […]

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 […]

The dangers of “I think” and “I believe” in school security and emergency preparedness planning

Posted by on September 26, 2023

It is very common in our interviews of principals and their building safety/crisis/emergency teams (the names vary) to have answers to our questions begin with “I believe” or “I think.” “I believe there is someone always at the church office.” “I think we can get school buses to our school in about 20 minutes from […]

School safety: How will superintendents, principals, and boards keep schools safe – and save face with parents – when pandemic recovery money and state grants disappear?

Posted by on September 22, 2023

Many school leaders are funding school security measures and student support services using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Programs (ESSER) and/or American Rescue Plan (ARP) COVID pandemic recovery funds. If school leaders do not have a plan for sustainability once those dollars begin to disappear in the next year or two, school violence and […]

School security consultants: For many a retirement job or new income stream, for a few of us a lifelong passion

Posted by on September 13, 2023

There are many qualified school safety and security consultants around the U.S. today. But for a much smaller number of us, school safety has been a lifelong passion far before it became trendy to be a school security consultant. An inside look: My school safety journey began as a student in Cleveland junior and senior […]