School Safety Fidelity: April 2017 Issue of School Safety Monthly Now Available

School Safety Fidelity

This month’s issue of school safety monthly is an interesting topic that spans all that we do in keeping our schools safe. While the concept is as fundamental as the all-hazards approach to emergency management, it is sometimes easy to forget the basics. School safety fidelity is as simple as making sure we do what we say we are going to do. This can manifest itself in different ways, from a failure to follow proscribed student supervision policies to the use of active shooter programs that breed inconsistency by design. Having practices, policies and training that are mismatched is one of the easiest ways to create liability and increase actual risk.

Room for improvement in school safety practices and procedures to enhance fidelity can be found in many areas. From basics like student supervision to more complex issues like active shooter response and mandatory reporting for child sexual abuse, mismatched policies and practices can cause injury and death when not addressed. In actuality, we should be taking a closer look at everything we do during the periodic review and updating of our plans.

The good news is that like most obstacles, this one can be overcome. There are a number of ways to identify gaps in school safety fidelity. There are also several ways to close these gaps and enhance school safety with sometimes very little actual effort. In many cases the answer is a simple adjustment of practice or training update. Read this month’s issue of School Safety Monthly: School Safety Fidelity to find out how.

Click the image below to download the April 2017 issue of School Safety Monthly:

School Safety Fidelity: April 2017

For past issues of School Safety Monthly as well as archived issues of our electronic journal The Safety Net, visit our newsletter archives page here:

The Safety Net Volume 3 Issue 2

Newsletter & eJournal Archives Page

Learning Lessons from School Safety Litigation

A few years back I wrote about viewing school safety through the lens of litigation. Between conference keynotes and working with school districts, I am still buried up to my neck in case files for civil actions against school and public safety officials. I am always busy with expert witness work and school safety litigation is time-consuming, but some cases have more complexity than others. This month’s collection of binders contains a series of complicated situations which demand close attention and painstaking examination.

While I decline the vast majority of cases I am contacted about, I do find that working some cases serves as a valuable learning experience. School safety incidents usually look quite different when you review 5 to 10 binders of documents along with security camera footage, audio from 911 calls and other evidence in contrast to viewing a 90-second blip on the news.

Though this month marks my 35th year in the field of campus safety, I must say that I still learn something new each year. I learn from respected colleagues, from reading books and articles, conducting school security assessments, and in general, we learn a great deal from our clients. However, some of the most invaluable lessons I have learned have come from my work in school safety litigation. Spending 40, 50, 60 or more hours reviewing a case file and preparing a report that is more thoroughly cited page per page than the average master’s thesis is always challenging and informative.

Carefully reviewing depositions, policies, manuals, training program power points, legal documents, camera footage, and other forms of evidence affords quite a different view than most other forms of work that I do. These experiences shape the way I view documentation, verbiage in policies, procedures, training programs and virtually every aspect of school safety. When I deliver a conference presentation, conduct assessments, or prepare written reports for clients, I am constantly considering how the words, concepts, and actions of my audience and clients would be perceived in the event of safety-related litigation.

Whether the case involves an active shooter incident, the rape of a student in their school, molestation of young children by school employees, death from sudden cardiac arrest or the death of a child crushed by a falling object in a classroom, each case offers valuable lessons on how the chances that serious injuries and deaths can be averted with effective safety practices.

This perspective also drives a more important thought process. If the strategies, documentation, and training processes are well-designed from a liability reduction standpoint, they are usually also more reliable in preventing and preparing for school crisis events. While not always the case, most of the cases I work involve a tragic ending. Using what I learn as each tragedy is dissected page by page and frame by frame, does create the silver linings in such dark clouds. While no school safety measures are foolproof, there are many opportunities and possibilities to prevent tragic events in schools. Application of the lessons to be learned from each tragedy can help to prevent many more devastating school crisis events so that we can avoid school safety litigation altogether.

school safety litigation case files

This is the initial case file for a single-victim case resulting in school safety litigation.

SafeTopics School Safety Training Videos Now Available Online

The “Netflix of School Safety”: CampusSafetyHQ offers Online School Safety Training Videos and more

As you may have read in Campus Safety magazine, there is a great new resource available for school safety trainers and educators. Over the years, the magazine has been more than just a publication and has put on some of the leading professional conferences in the industry. They have now taken their contributor’s expertise to the next level with Campus Safety HQ – bringing streaming school safety training videos to your computer or mobile device. These include content from a variety of experts – including our school safety training video library.

Campus Safety HQ logo

Campus Safety HQ

Try The First 30 Seconds scenario training series – and more – for $1

For a limited time, CampusSafetyHQ is offering a free trial for only $1 – a great value. Since we first released The First 30 Seconds in 2012, we have had a number of schools that want to use our crisis scenarios but either cannot use DVDs or cannot get purchasing approval for the full DVD set. This is a great opportunity to try out the videos in streaming format. This means you don’t need to carry DVDs or other materials with you. All you have to do is log on to any computer to access the training videos and school crisis scenarios. Show them on your laptop for staff evaluation exercises, or project them onto the big screen for group discussions. All the great resources that are in the DVD set are now available online for monthly subscribers at Campus Safety HQ for a limited time at only $1 for the first month and $47 per month after that.

More Online School Safety Videos added regularly

CampusSafetyHQ.com has a growing library of streaming content, including a collection of action plans on topics ranging from bomb threats to mental health recovery. Our school crisis scenario series The First 30 Seconds is now available and eventually the entire SafeTopics series will be available. This is a great option for someone who is looking for a variety of training for themselves and the organization as a whole. Take some time for your own professional development and watch a conference presentation from industry experts like Dr. Randy Atlas or Security Director Guy Grace. Then take that knowledge and train your staff with our school crisis scenario series. There are plenty of options for all employees and all levels of preparedness at Campus Safety HQ.

Check out this video from Campus Safety about the new resource: