The National School Safety Conference will be held July 22-26, 2013 at the Red Rock Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. New this year will be a National discussion on school safety, with topics ranging from Arming Teachers and Staff to Federal & State Funding of School Safety Strategies. Guests will have an option to submit written questions of the panelist, and have their issues discussed as part of this Town Hall Meeting.
This event will take place on Friday, July 26th, 2013 in the Red Rock Ballroom. Media Passes are available, but limited.
To register for the conference, go to http://www.schoolsafety911.org
As a 25+ year law enforcement executive, with over 20 years experience in school safety today’s press announcement by the National Rifle Association (NRA) demonstrates the NRA lacks any real understanding of critical incidents that occur on a school campus. While I do applaud their calling for School Based Policing at schools, the idea of arming teachers and volunteers at schools borderlines on insanity. Further, the majority of schools do have crisis plans and train their staff but having the NRA involved in the actual emergency response lacks logic. I can’t imagine having to have those police officers who respond to critical incidents at schools having to distinguish between those can carry guns and those that can’t in what may be split second decisions. We don’t need to create the OK Corral on a campus. Laslty, the NRA is not the right organization to train campus professionals on how to address school safety or critical incident response. Their mission has been advocating more firearms as the solution to firearm violence, which is not what our schools need.
Regardless of what side of the handgun debate you are on, the recent horrific act in Newtown, CT has left all of us shaking our heads trying to grasp or understand how someone could commit such an ugly crime against such young children. Yet, having been a law enforcement executive and school safety speaker for over 20 years, I can only hope that as a nation we don’t look for another bandaide or quick fix that will have a short lived impact on what really needs to happen. While it appears it would be a difficult task to have prevented what happended in Newtown, CT completely, it truly sounds as though many of the strategies they employed such as a buzzer entry system, regular training and drills may have saved the loss of other additional lives. With Mental Health issues that are surfacing in this and other tragedies, its only makes sense that schools work more closly on collaborating with local law enforcement to make certain all involved have regular and frequent contact with students having mental health issues. NOT for the purpose of increased incarceration, but care and information sharing.
In the past years we have asked schools to do a lot more in school safety, despite major school safety budget cuts on the Federal level. Cuts to the Safe & Drug Free School Funds from Dept of Education. The REMS (Response to Emergency Management in Schools) Grant Funding Program and of course, the COPS in Schools Program through the Department of Justice. I hope to share some healthy discussion on this topic.
I have read recently in a number of newspapers that school districts across the nation are being asked to consider ALICE (alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate) Training as part of their Emergency Crisis Response plans. While most of the ALICE Training is the typical training that has been pretty much standard in schools for years, the controversy is over the “COUNTER” portion of the training that has trainers teaching young unarmed students to attack an armed gunman with pencils, books or any object around them. YES, you read that right! An unarmed, young child attacking an armed, crazed gunman in hopes of over-powering the gunman. Thank goodness many districts and law enforcement agencies have already turned down the Texas Businessman’s offer to have this training, but strangely enough, a number of districts have gone through with this training. There are so many flaws with this training and thinking, that would have many wondering what school district attorney would authorize this anyway. Major flaws like the fact that there is not one single shred of evidence that this strategy works or has ever saved a life. It also make a very poor assumption that every armed gunman that does breech security and enters a classroom will go Columbine and begin killing students. School Safety Experts know that’s simply not the case. Many armed gunman have entered classrooms but exited without shooting anyone. Had a student thrown something at the gunman, would that have been enough to push the gunman into a shooting frenzy? Also, since most school shooters are other students, aren’t also teaching potential gunman the class protocol? Again, the arguments NOT to move forward with ALICE far outweigh the reasons for implementation.
The National Conference on Bullying will be held February 27 – March 1, 2013 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Over 50 individual speakers, large vendor hall, networking receptions and more. Over 500 attendees from across the globe attend this event. for additional information, go to www.schoolsafety911.org
2012 Texas Bullying Symposium
April 19-20, 2012
(Doubletree Campbell Centre)
The 2012 National Survey on Bullying conducted by the School Safety Advocacy Council is now posted and available at http://www.schoolsafety911.org.
By now we have all heard of the tragedy at Chardon High School where a student went into the school cafeteria and began firing a handgun at his fellow students? What causes a student to kill fellow students? This question has been asked of school shooters since before Columbine. Could this shooting be a result of the shooter being bullied? As the investigation continues I am sure we will know for sure but preliminary statements from students at the school believe the shooting was in response to being bullied.
Statements made by some students who witnessed the shooting said it was unclear whether the gunman had specific targets in mind when he began shooting but others told the AP that he believed the gunman was looking for certain students. He said he saw one student dive under a cafeteria table to unsuccessfully hide. The shooter has been described as an outcast who had apparently been bullied by others. Officials would not discuss the motive.
Is bullying being taken seriously by school officials? Is enough being done to prepare our schools, faculty, and students to effectively deal with the issues of bullying? A recent national survey by the School Safety Advocacy Council of almost 1000 school officials and law enforcement officials might surprise you. To view the survey visit www.schoolsafety911.org or click on this link http://www.schoolsafety911.org/PDF/2012SSACBullyingSurvey.pdf. For more information on bullying or training please contact Sean Burke, President SSAC at email@example.com .
The School Safety Advocacy Council (SSAC) recently announced it will take a smaller version of its popular National Conference on Bullying to cities across the nation. The first stops on the REGIONAL BULLYING SYMPOSIUM TOUR were recently announced at a press conference last week. The Regional Bullying Symposiums will provide a comprehensive 2-day training opportunity in the cities of Cincinnati, Ohio, Boston, Ma and Dallas, Texas through the months of March and April, 2012. “We are looking at two (2) additional sites in California and the Pacific Northwest as well”, stated Curtis Lavarello, Executive Director of the Advocacy Council.
“This training is a must for School Counselors, School Administrators and School Based Law Enforcement Officers”, continued Lavarello. The School Safety Advocacy Council Training has become recognized as the nation’s leader in school safety and bullying related training for school faculty and SROs.
For additional information on registering for the Regional Bullying Symposium or the National School Safety Conference (July 23-27, 2012 at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort in Orlando, FL), go to www.schoolsafety911.org
The National Conference on Bullying slated for February 15-17, 2012 is on course to be the largest national bullying conference to date. With 2 months still remaining, attendence is 25% higher than in 2011 at the same time. Even the number of vendors has doubled and the exhibit hall is nearing a sellout. For more information on attending the conference, go to www.schoolsafety911.org