Blog Archives

School crisis lockdown plans when students are in restrooms

Posted by on November 21, 2013

What do we do about students who are in the restroom when we announce a lockdown? This question is raised often during our school security assessment consulting and training presentations around the country. The issue has several variables schools must prepare for as they develop and refine their emergency guidelines. Don’t leave students stranded in restrooms […]

Do ALICE training tactics put students, teachers at risk?

Posted by on June 14, 2013

Questions about student and teacher safety continue to mount as some schools deploy questionable drill tactics in which children and teachers are instructed to throw things at, and to attack, armed gunmen. The tactics stem from the controversial “Counter” component of the A.L.I.C.E. Training program, which stands for Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate. Questionable tactics stemming from A.L.I.C.E. training In recent months, […]

Chechen terrorists: Beslan school hostage siege to Boston bombing

Posted by on April 22, 2013

Tension continues to grow as we learn more about possible international terrorism ties to the Boston Marathon bombers. My tension grew dramatically as soon as I heard they had Chechen connections. Most Americans likely know less about Chechnya than I do. And I don’t know much at all. But I do know that Chechen terrorists were responsible […]

Should school police have high-powered rifles in schools?

Posted by on September 7, 2012

The Plainfield (IL) Police Department’s recent request to allow its School Resource Officers (SROs) to store AR-15 rifles in gun safes at their high school generated quite a buzz. (See the Chicago Tribune story entitled Assault rifles in schools a sign of the times.) But was the request really unreasonable? Actually, the request by the police is not unusual. […]

Behind the Scenes of a Crisis: 9/11 Ten Years Later

Posted by on September 8, 2011

Communication, coordination, and complacency. These three themes repeatedly surfaced in comments by morning panel members for The Press Club of Cleveland’s: Behind the Scenes of a Crisis, September 11 10 Years Later program.  The September 7th program’s morning panel included representatives from the FBI, Red Cross, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Cleveland Police, Regional Transit Authority, and […]

Cell Phones, Texting, School Safety, and Discipline

Posted by on December 8, 2010

There is no constitutional right for students to have cell phones in schools. This is one of several points I made in an interview for a Fox News Channel national story earlier this week entitled, “Zero Tolerance for Classroom Texters.” The peg for the story is a Benicia High School (California) policy where school administrators […]

Schools Are Under-Funded & Under-Prepared for Disasters, Feds Say

Posted by on August 26, 2010

Schools and communities are neglecting children due to a lack of funding and lack of a national strategy to address the needs of children in disaster planning, according to a report by The National Commission on Children and Disasters, a commission created in 2007 by the President and Congress. “Children are 25 percent of our […]

REMS School Emergency Planning Grant Lessons Learned

Posted by on August 23, 2010

Good school safety consultants learn from every project and client school district.  If not, they’re not very good consultants. My colleagues and I have consistently received positive feedback from our work with school districts receiving federal Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) grants.  We have provided training for crisis teams and administrators, emergency planning assessments, […]

Engaging Support Staff in School Emergency Planning

Posted by on August 20, 2010

School bus drivers, secretaries, food service staff, and custodians are on the front-lines in schools. But are they on the front lines in school emergency preparedness training and planning? School bus drivers are the first and last school employees to see many students each school day, and face the challenges of managing the behavior and […]

How to Protect Elementary Students from Harm

Posted by on August 19, 2010

An unusual student disappearance, unexcused student walk-away, or a stranger on an elementary school campus creates anxiety, fear, and often panic in a school-community.  The case of Kyron Horman, a second-grade Oregon student who has been missing since June 4th, 2010, has generated intense attention and discussion  on elementary school security issues.  The seven-year-old never […]