Blog Archives

School security market data versus independent research data: Strategic school safety leaders need to know the difference

Posted by on July 1, 2024

School board member: We have limited resources. We need to spend wisely while also letting parents know we are doing something. Superintendent: It’s hard to cut through the noise. Principal: I don’t know who to believe or who to trust – and I don’t need more headaches that make leading our school more difficult. I […]

Panic over panic buttons, guardians galore, and other school safety “legislation by anecdote”: Why lobbying based upon single incidents and high-profile tragedies does not necessarily make good school safety law.

Posted by on June 10, 2024

Several state legislatures have passed laws requiring schools to have panic buttons or similar emergency alert systems, often dubbed “Alyssa’s Law” based upon advocacy by a Florida parent who lost her daughter in the Parkland school shooting. A number of states have passed laws requiring all schools to have police officers or armed “guardians.” There […]

School security is being sold to the highest bidders. Private equity and venture capital investors are hijacking the school safety field. Will a passion for profits overshadow a passion for school safety?

Posted by on April 9, 2024

Follow the money. If you are a superintendent, school board member, or principal you should follow it very closely when it comes to school safety, or you may lose control over decisions about safety in your schools. Private investors are increasingly taking control over the school safety industry Private investors increasingly have their eyes set […]

Exposed emails show a leading AI weapons detection system missed its own test gun “a few times with the cameras rolling” during a media demo in a school district that signed $11 million contract for their systems. But the local news report did not show it missing a gun. Are parents being left in the dark?

Posted by on April 8, 2024

Emails exposed by IPVM, the world’s leading authority on physical security technology, shows AI weapons detection systems missed their own test gun “a few times with the cameras rolling” in a media demo for a Virginia school district that reportedly signed an $11 million contract for the units. And the school district’s communications director wanted […]

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 […]

The politics of school safety: From “tours” of school mass shooting scenes to statehouse lobbying and your local school district, the politicization of school shootings and school safety may be the very reason progress has stalled, not advanced.

Posted by on March 24, 2024

Strategic school safety leaders must recognize and understand that school safety is a political issue. From the highest national levels to your local school community, politics has infiltrated school safety narratives, policy and funding. Superintendents, school boards, and principals must be consciously cognizant of the increasingly political context around school shootings and school safety. Yet […]

Missing school security assessment reports, outdated plans, retired members on school safety teams, and high turnover of leaders: Is school safety part of your leadership transition process for new superintendents and principals?

Posted by on March 11, 2024

“We have an entire top leadership turnover since your consultation with us five years ago and nobody can find your assessment report.” Imagine that being your first call in the morning as a school security consultant. How would you feel? The good news is that someone remembered that you were there and did something. But […]

Are security vendors setting up school leaders to fail? When superintendents and principals overpromise on school security, they lose their school community’s trust and confidence on school safety.

Posted by on November 18, 2023

School leaders turning to physical security measures such as metal detectors, AI weapons detection systems, panic buttons or badges, and other trendy measures should exercise caution not to overpromise school security to parents, teachers, and students. Superintendents and principals should avoid parroting vendor marketing claims and overpromising security Some security hardware, product, and tech vendors […]

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 […]

A lesson for superintendents, school boards, and principals on being wise school safety and security consumers: People don’t buy products. They buy solutions to their problems.

Posted by on September 15, 2023

“People don’t buy products. They buy solutions to their problems.” This insightful observation, along with a humorous video to illustrate the point, is floating around social media. While some may focus on the video, marketing gurus are using it to impart a bit of wisdom that school leaders must consider when tackling school security challenges […]