Category Archive: School Safety and Crisis Training

What’s in a title? The masked and misleading titles and biographies of school safety presenters

Posted by on June 11, 2024

School leaders increasingly tell me that it is “hard to cut through the noise” — a reference to school security vendor marketing sales pitches, materials and spin. Recently, it has even become difficult to cut through the noise of school safety presenters’ organizational titles and affiliations. Many school administrators and school safety professionals pondering whether […]

If the school safety presenter at your conference is paid for by a security vendor, will their message be truly independent? School leaders in the audience need to look behind the curtains to learn about the potential wizards in the wings

Posted by on April 9, 2024

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” That famous saying came from Wizard of Oz movie. It refers to the Wizard of Oz being exposed as a “normal” man behind the curtain pulling the strings to create the perception of something much different than what it really was in real life. Today the […]

Superintendents, principals and other school leaders share a common struggle: How to communicate with parents about school safety. The good news is we can help them to communicate better.

Posted by on April 1, 2024

“I don’t know what to say, how to say it, and when to say it.” Those were the words of a school principal at the beginning of my doctoral program at Johns Hopkins. The topic with which he was struggling: Speaking with parents about school safety. This school administrator was not alone in his struggle […]

“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 […]