About Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a non-profit school safety center. The author of 27 books on school safety, Michael’s campus safety work has taken him to 11 countries over the past 34 years.

Safe Havens Team Chosen to Author University Textbook on Extreme Violence

A team of three Safe Havens Analysts and more than a dozen of their colleagues has been selected to author a 600-page textbook for undergraduate students, graduate students, and practitioners who desire advanced information regarding the prevention of active shooter incidents, active killer attacks, acts of terrorism, and violent hate crimes. The working title for the book is Extreme Violence – How to Prevent, Prepare for and Recover from Active Shooter, Active Killer, Hate Violence and Acts of Terrorism. Extreme Violence will focus on what to do about the threat of extreme violence rather than focusing on the history or driving forces behind them. Rather than focusing on geopolitical solutions, the intensively researched book will be focused on how to address these extreme and highly lethal acts of violence at the local and state organizational level.

Safe Havens signed a contract with Cognella, a major publisher of more than 2,000 different textbooks, in November. Les Nichols, Phuong Nguyen and I will serve as co-authors and a distinguished team of subject matter experts have agreed to serve as contributing authors for the most comprehensive textbook on the subject in print. After a careful review of more than 100 books on related topics, we have identified a significant gap in textbooks that provide a comprehensive treatment of the prevention
of, preparedness for and recovery from these devastating types of extreme violence. The talented Safe Havens audio-visual, team will also be developing an array of support web tools to give the learner perspectives that are new to the field of textbook publication. The book will include more than 30 chapters on a wide array of related topics and will be heavily illustrated. The research and writing team has been hard at work and we are proud of the work they have done so far. We feel honored to have been selected by one of the nation’s most respected textbook publishers and to have the chance to work with such a diverse team of amazing subject matter experts to produce this much needed work.

South Carolina Department of Education Train-The-Trainer Program

South Carolina Department of Education Selects Safe Havens International Selected to Develop a School Safety Train-The-Trainer Program

South Carolina Department of Education Selects Safe Havens International Selected to Develop a School Safety Train-The-Trainer Program

South Carolina Department of Education Selects Safe Havens International Selected to Develop a School Safety Train-The-Trainer Program

After a lengthy competitive bid selection process, Safe Havens International was chosen by the South Carolina Department of Education to create a new train-the-trainer program. Through this program, 250 carefully selected instructors will be selected to participate. SHI will conduct five training sessions in different regions of the state this winter. After successfully completing the program, participants will be able to provide multiple blocks of instruction to local school officials across the state. Participants will also be trained in the SHI “Dorn Drill” process and will be provided with a series of custom audio scenarios for use in prompting staff to initiate emergency protective actions such as lockdown, evacuation, reverse evacuation, room clear, severe weather sheltering, sheltering in place for and hazardous materials. Graduates of the program will be able to load the audio scenarios onto portable devices and tablets to use them to prompt staff to initiate school-level drills, to conduct one-on-one spot checks of staff, and for use in structured staff development sessions. Graduates of the program will also receive a variety of other tools such as drill scoring instruments to help them improve fidelity and to provide improved documentation for their drill processes.

Safe Havens has been honored to conduct other types of school safety projects in a number of states including Indiana, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Maine and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.   Our project team is excited to have this opportunity to help the South Carolina Department of Education provide helpful tools to further enhance safety, security and emergency preparedness throughout the state.

School Safety Litigation and Camera Signage

Poor choice of wording on signage relating to school security can pose problems during school safety litigation. Though many vendors provide schools with signage like that depicted, care should be taken not to use signage that implies that video cameras are being monitored.

Poor choice of wording on signage relating to school security can pose problems during school safety litigation. Though many vendors provide schools with signage like that depicted, care should be taken not to use signage that implies that video cameras are being monitored.

Security Camera Signage Can Cause Complications in School Safety Litigation

We commonly find signage that can create challenges during litigation while we are conducting school security assessments. One of the most common examples involves security camera signage. We suggest that school officials avoid posting signage that could imply that school security cameras are being monitored, especially when full-time personnel are not assigned to these duties. Attorneys have sometimes successfully argued that this type of language has created a false promise of security during litigation for security incidents.

Balance the School Security Benefits with the Potential Risk Exposure

While I understand the desire to deter misconduct, the legal implications should be considered when posting signage relating to school security cameras. This is not a bad idea even when school security cameras are typically monitored by security personnel as gaps in coverage can still occur. We have also seen instances where budget cuts result in loss of security positions and school officials have forgotten to remove the camera signage which has now become inaccurate.

While signage informing the public that cameras are in use can be beneficial, carefully consider the wording to reduce the chances that your own language will be used against you in a court of law.