Category Archive: School Safety and Crisis Training

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Do you have a game plan for school athletic event security? Shootings and other violence at high school games are not new, but they are far too common and intense

Posted by on September 16, 2023

Last night, a 14-year-old boy was killed in a school shooting as police were dispersing a crowd following a Chicago-area high school football game. Meanwhile, in Kansas City, Kansas, shots were fired during a high school football game and the school officer returned fire until the suspects fled. These are the latest in a spate […]

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 […]

Focus forward with a tactical pause: Recognize limitations of “single incident expert” school shooting and other school safety recommendations

Posted by on September 5, 2023

We glean lessons from each school shooting, but the next may follow a different fact pattern. School leaders should exercise caution and restraint in making abrupt changes to safety policies and practices based upon the fact pattern of one (or even several) low-probability/high-impact incidents. A school central office administrator responsible for district school safety recently […]

Communicating school safety to parents: Superintendents and principals need strategic support on what to say, how to say it, and when to say it

Posted by on August 29, 2023

If we don’t better support superintendents and principals in becoming strategic school safety leaders and communicators, they will lose the trust and confidence of parents, students, staff, and their school communities. They might also lose their jobs. Yesteryear’s school safety communications spin no longer works During the first couple of decades of my school security […]

School administrators must revisit traditional school safety, security, and emergency crisis plans – not just COVID safety plans.

Posted by on October 7, 2021

Students and teachers are back to in-person learning in most schools across the nation. Unfortunately, instances of school shootings, gun confiscations, stabbings, and other violence have also returned to our nation’s schools. In the past week alone, there have been at least four school shootings around the U.S., the most recent on Wednesday at a […]