Category Archive: Students and School Safety

Managing student fights at school: Strategic school safety planning for fight prevention and response

Posted by on January 3, 2024

School administrators and school safety professionals are seeing a noticeable increase in fighting, especially at the middle and high school levels, in the past two school years. Some fights are exceptionally large in number of students, highly aggressive, and at times involve persons from outside of the school who are not students. We put together […]

5 ALICE training myths: Students attacking armed intruders

Posted by on November 11, 2012

As A.L.I.C.E. training advocates work to sell their program to school boards and superintendents, five myths continue to circulate about the program and its concept of teaching children to attack armed intruders. A.L.I.C.E. stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. The “counter” component of teaching school students to throw objects at armed intruders and to physically attack them is garnering […]

Why adequate supervision is critical to good school safety

Posted by on December 26, 2011

A female is allegedly raped in a gym restroom.  A student is assaulted in a hallway during class change.  A stranger is found in an elementary school restroom. The first question raised by parents, the media and perhaps eventually lawyers is: “Was supervision adequate?” The answer to that question must be assessed on a case-by-case […]

Parent questions: ALICE Training & teaching kids to fight gunmen

Posted by on November 28, 2011

  Most of us who are parents agree that safety is more important than academics at our schools.  We entrust educators with our children for a good chunk of time each school day.  We demand that they take reasonable steps to protect our kids, and expect that they use good common sense in doing so. Yet […]

Bringing pencils & books to a gun fight; ALICE Training raises questions

Posted by on October 30, 2011

  “While he’s busy ducking and covering his head from our air assault, we must now begin the ground assault.” This quote from a staff training booklet on the A.L.I.C.E. (Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate) plan struck me when it was shared by a client school district.   The quote was included in a section called, “OK, I made him mad. Now What!?” And […]

Bringing a purse to a gun fight: Training to attack armed intruders?

Posted by on October 28, 2011

Typically I ignore snark and snipe attacks made against me on the Internet. As a higher-profile figure with over 25 years experience in the school safety field, they come with the territory.  And typically they come from people who are jealous and/or insecure anyway. But every now and then one occurs that is just too […]

When Did Common Sense End in School Discipline and Safety?

Posted by on March 23, 2011

Training students not to open exterior school doors to let someone inside is a best practice. Suspending a student who violated the rule to help a woman with her hands full is not a best practice. A Southampton County, Virginia, middle school student was suspended from school after opening a door for a woman with […]

School Access Control: Two Simple, But Powerful, Practices

Posted by on January 25, 2010

Proximity or swipe card readers, electronic door opening controls, surveillance cameras, and visitor management systems are among a list of access control and management strategies put in place in schools across the nation. School administrators and safety officials can effectively integrate these and other strategies into their school security plans.  But two simple, but powerful, practices are too frequently overlooked and/or under-emphasized: […]

Engaging Students in School Safety

Posted by on January 13, 2010

Students in Miami-Dade County Schools are organizing school safety summits in the aftermath of a fatal stabbing at Coral Gables Senior High this past September.  (Details at Miami Herald’s January 12th story, Miami-Dade students organize to end violence in schools)   While I was working with an Indiana school district on an emergency planning assessment today, […]