Blog Archives

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 […]

Tabletop exercises strengthen school security and emergency preparedness for a crisis

Posted by on July 13, 2016

Security and emergency preparedness has been at the forefront as our hometown Cleveland prepares to host next week’s Republican National Convention, just on the heels of an impromptu 1.3 million fan downtown celebration of our NBA Champion Cavaliers basketball victory. The tragic attacks on Dallas police officers last week only heightened our local conversations about […]

Exercise caution with full scale school active shooter exercises

Posted by on February 18, 2014

Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we have noticed an increase in first responders, primarily law enforcement, conducting full scale exercises at schools using staff and students. These exercises are also coming under increased scrutiny by the media and broader public, as reported this past weekend in the NBC stories Fake Blood and Blanks: Schools Stage […]

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, […]

School police association rejects training students to attack armed intruders

Posted by on December 13, 2012

The national association representing school-based police officers does NOT endorse the idea of teaching students to throw objects and attack armed intruders, its executive director confirmed earlier today. The association also does NOT endorse the idea of teaching school-based police officers to teach students to throw objects and attack armed intruders. Mo Canady, Executive Director […]

Do schools, police mislead parents on ALICE training? Students attack armed gunmen

Posted by on November 13, 2012

Some schools and police are teaching students to attack armed gunmen. But are they soft-pedaling the program and misleading parents in the process? 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 being question by many experienced educators […]

School police expert: ALICE training is a safety, liability risk

Posted by on November 12, 2012

A veteran national expert on school-based police today called teaching school students to attack armed intruders a safety and liability risk for school boards and superintendents, as well as law enforcement agencies. “A.L.I.C.E. training should be a huge red flag for school and police administrators, especially in the liability arena. Both the legal staff and […]

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 […]