A jury found Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of shooter in the Oxford (MI) High School school shooting case, guilty on four counts of involuntary manslaughter for the loss of lives in the attack. See https://apnews.com/article/oxford-high-school-mother-charged-01f336607a496c5f9ff0cb3a7434d073 A landmark case This is a landmark case in being the first we can recall where a parent has been […]
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
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 […]
Focus forward with a tactical pause: Recognize limitations of “single incident expert” school shooting and other school safety recommendations
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 […]
How Congress and the Biden Administration can restore meaningful programs to strengthen school safety, security, and emergency preparedness
Congress and the Biden Administration do not need to reinvent the wheel to improve safety in America’s PreK-12 schools. They need only do some homework to find multiple meaningful federal programs created in a bipartisan effort by Congress and the Clinton Administration following the 1999 school shooting attacks at Columbine High School that resulted in […]
Securing a Hospital Emergency Department in the Aftermath of a School Shooting
(Editor’s Note: This article is a collaboration with Michael S. D’Angelo, CPP, CSC, CHPA, a Board Certified Security Consultant specializing in the security of healthcare facilities. He can be reached at email@example.com, www.securedirection.net or 786-444-1109. See his biographical information at the end of the article.) As America continues to endure mass shootings at school, security and […]
Mass shootings: Should schools be held responsible for threat assessments when former students go on a killing spree?
Following the recent mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, reporters asked me if Sugarcreek-Bellbrook school officials and police handled the situation properly when addressing the shooter’s alleged threats made in high school approximately seven years prior. Did they do anything wrong? What did they do right? Did they do enough? Hindsight is 20/20, but how to […]
Federal Commission on School Safety report rehashes decades-old best practices, adds a few political twists
Statement by school security expert Kenneth S. Trump, President of National School Safety and Security Services, on the Federal Commission on School Safety’s final report: The Federal Commission on School Safety’s final report largely rehashes school safety, security, and emergency preparedness best practices that have been recognized since the Columbine era nearly 20 years ago. […]
FBI failed to investigate Florida school shooter tip; “See something, say something —AND DO SOMETHING” should be new fed mantra
The FBI is the very best at what they do. The problem is that school safety is not something they do as a part of their core mission. FBI agents are not school safety experts. In fact, federal agents don’t regularly work with juveniles. They deal with adult criminals. They typically defer those few juveniles […]
School shooters are not just “ordinary kids”: Will our past determine our future?
If we do not make changes, then our past will determine our future and we will continue to have school shootings. This statement was a part of my first testimony before Congress in March of 1999 shortly before the massacre at Columbine High School. My testimony focused on the need for increased mental health services […]
Franklin Regional High School stabbing: Was pulling the fire alarm the best practice?
One student stabbed and/or injured twenty-two students and staff on April 9th in the hallways of a Pennsylvania high school. Once again, a tragedy played out in the hallways of our schools. What is troubling to me is the continued media reports of what a “good” thing it was for an injured student to pull […]