News and Blog

The Student Role in School Safety

In every school shooting where the shooter was a member of the school community, including Columbine, there were students who knew about their classmate’s plan to cause harm at school.  Let's work together to make sure we know about that student's plan before it...

Back to School Safety Basics: Fire and Health Hazards

Back to School Safety Basics: Fire and Health Hazards

School safety is not just Active Shooters. School personnel needs to be trained in all hazards. Security and Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs) can be used to identify both risks and best practices in a school. Once risks are identified, an abatement plan can be...

Threat Assessment Teams and the Resource Your School’s Team Needs

Threat Assessment Teams and the Resource Your School’s Team Needs

Schools are responsible for maintaining a safe and positive learning environment for all students and staff. School safety involves multiple components, one of which is violence prevention. It is critical that schools offer research-based Threat Assessment curriculum....

Back to School Safety Basics: Common Custodial Oversights

Back to School Safety Basics: Common Custodial Oversights

School safety is not just Active Shooters. School personnel needs to be trained in all hazards. Security and Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs) can be used to identify both risks and best practices in a school. Once risks are identified, an abatement plan can be...

Arming School Teachers?

Arming School Teachers?

I am often asked my thoughts on arming teachers within schools and I always start my response with the following statement:  Arming school teachers can be a controversial topic and one that should be decided by schools within their respective communities.   That said,...

Your School Safety Questions Answered by Gary

Your School Safety Questions Answered by Gary

Looking for answers to your school safety-related questions?  One week after being hired as a K12 safety director, I discovered I had more questions than answers.  Fortunately, I was able to develop a network of people I could call or email for suggestions, advice, or...

Back to School Safety Basics: Secured Shelving

Back to School Safety Basics: Secured Shelving

School safety is not just Active Shooters. School personnel needs to be trained in all hazards. Security and Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs) can be used to identify both risks and best practices in a school. Once risks are identified, an abatement plan can be...

Exercises: The Tool for Evaluating Plans, Training and Preparedness

Exercises: The Tool for Evaluating Plans, Training and Preparedness

Introducing Guest Blog Author: Gene KomondorAs you know, my goal for this blog is to be a free resource to everyone tasked with keeping others safe.  While I typically post school safety-related content, emergency preparedness is a universal topic and so I often reach...

School Safety: A Broken System

School Safety: A Broken System

Following the recent Parkland verdict, I find myself reflecting on the time shortly after the tragedy itself.  I was in DC the week after it happened for Advanced Threat Assessment training.  Needless to say, Parkland, as well as all of the subsequent hoaxes that...

Can We Stop Calling the Subsequent Dates of a Tragedy an Anniversary?

Anniversary [ an-uh-vur-suh-ree ] noun: 1.   A day that is an exact number of years (to the day) since a given significant event occurred. Often preceded by an ordinal number indicating the number of years. Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the war. 2....

Happy Haircut

Happy Haircut

  There’s a blank index card on my desk.   When I was training at a school a few weeks ago we were talking about layers of school security to prevent the type of school shooting where the killer is a member of the school community and is intentionally...

Using Drills and Exercises to Test Your School’s Emergency Operations Plan Q&A

Gary’s Guide to School Safety

Below are some of the questions I received during the August 18 webinar, Using Drills and Exercises to Test Your School's Emergency Operations Plan, hosted by the Campus Safety Webcast Series.  The replay of the webinar can be found HERE by logging into your existing...

How to Spot and Prevent a Phishing Attack

Introducing Guest Blog Author: Josh RoganWhen I get an email or phone call from a district asking for assistance on an issue that is outside my area of expertise, I reach out to Subject Matter Experts in my circle for their guidance and insight.  If you would like...

Restoring Trust and Confidence

Restoring Trust and Confidence

It will be some time before the final report on the actions of law enforcement at Webb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.  We do know there was a failure of the command staff, and some officers did not follow their training.  While the actions of a few do not...

Your School Safety Questions Answered by Gary

Your Questions Answered by Gary

Below is the next series of questions my clients and colleagues have submitted to me through past Gary's Guide to School Safety blog posts, via email, and directly to me through LinkedIn.  Be sure to submit your safety and preparedness questions below to be featured...

Developing an MOU for the School Setting

Developing an MOU for the School Setting

According to the US Department of Justice, an MOU can do a variety of things. On a basic level, it can serve the function of a “business agreement” clarifying the financial arrangement between a school district and law enforcement agency—in other words, who is...

Using Your EOP During an Exercise

Using Your EOP During an Exercise

The Ohio School Safety Center states:Each year between January 1st and December 31st, schools are required to test a section of their emergency management plan [or Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)] by completing a tabletop, functional, or full-scale exercise. In a...

Personal Disaster Kit Update

Personal Disaster Kit Update

We are officially in the midst of tornado season here in the Midwest, which means it is time to review the contents of personal disaster kits.  Not only is it an EOP requirement for teachers in Ohio to have a disaster kit in their classrooms, I encourage all of my...