School Terrorism Web Courses

Coming Soon – School Terrorism Web Courses

Photograph taken during filming of the first 30 seconds, weapon scenarios. - See more at:

Photograph taken during filming of the first 30 seconds, weapon scenarios. – See more at:

Safe Havens Analysts Authoring School Terrorism Web Courses

Last year, Safe Havens agreed to author a series of web courses on terrorism prevention and preparedness for Scenario Learning Incorporated.  Safe Havens analysts have authored a number of school safety web courses for Scenario Learning, including the six recently released active shooter web courses for K12, colleges, and work places.  We have also authored an active shooter course for students at institutions of higher learning.


Comprehensive Topical Coverage

Scenario Learning now offers more than 300 courses for the K12 sector and adds new course offerings each year.  Scheduled for draft completion in January 2016 the six new terrorism prevention and preparedness courses are based on the book Innocent Targets When Terrorism Comes to School, which is now in its eight print run, as well as our experience working with schools in terrorism prone regions such as Nigeria and Kenya.  In light of the recent series of terrorist attacks and thwarted attacks globally, Safe Havens and Scenario Learning will be completing the courses well ahead of the original publication date.  We had discussed and planned for this possibility more than six months ago.

School Terrorism Web Courses Authoring and Editing

Safe Havens is honored to be selected to author these School Terrorism Web courses which are sadly now very timely. Feedback from our clients and from insurance carriers about Scenario Learning has been excellent.  The short time format of the awareness level courses, combined with excellent tracking capability, low cost, ability for school officials to create custom web courses and features that allow school officials to document the distribution of critical policies and crisis plan components, have been very popular with dozens of our clients.   Our authoring team has been working closely with the Scenario Learning Companies editorial team to produce accurate, concise, actionable and informative courses on these relevant topics.


Full Disclosure

Safe Havens does not receive any form of royalties; our analysts author courses for Scenario Learning for a one-time nominal fee.   While our analysts can generate far more revenue through other forms of service delivery, we have found the approach utilized by Scenario Learning Incorporated to be highly practical for our clients.  Safe Havens never accepts any form of monetary compensation for recommending any product or service.

Active Shooter Obsession – A Deadly Trend

Active Shooter Obsession deadly trend.

The active shooter obsession is a deadly trend.

Obsession with Active Shooter Scenarios Degrades School Safety

While running school crisis scenarios during a school security assessment this week, a teacher at a faith-based school attacked people during two of the six school crisis scenarios he was presented with. In both instances, the test subject failed to initiate a lockdown or prompt anyone to call 911. Instead, he attacked a suspicious person who is depicted as ignoring staff who ask him what he is doing in the building. In fact, neither scenario involved an active shooter incident. Later in the week, another employee at a school where a hostage situation had occurred also opted to use physical force in two scenarios where it would clearly increase danger to do so. These types of responses have become increasingly popular since the Sandy Hook attack. Prior to the Sandy Hook attack, such responses were exceedingly rare. Unfortunately, our nation’s obsession with active shooter events is having a significant and negative impact on how effectively school employees across the nation are prepared to make effective and prompt life-saving decisions.

Seeing is Believing

During a keynote presentation for the Tennessee Department of Education a couple of years ago, I asked a volunteer to come up to the stage and assist me in a demonstration. My volunteer turned out to be a very compassionate and deeply safety-conscious building principal for a faith-based high school. I asked him to respond in real-time fashion by verbalizing what he would do after he watched a video school crisis scenario. In the video, a student placed the muzzle of a 9mm semiautomatic pistol to his temple with his finger on the trigger and threatened to kill himself. The more than three hundred school administrators and law enforcement officer in attendance were shocked to hear his reply that he would attack the gunman. I was not shocked as I have seen this reply on numerous occasions during keynote presentations and during controlled simulations in schools across the nation.

Recognition Primed Decision-Making

Dr. Gary Klein has written extensively about the role of recognition-primed decision-making plays in the ability of people to make life and death decisions rapidly with limited information. He emphasizes the importance of providing people with a base of knowledge that will prepare them to recognize the situations they face more rapidly. Our analysts have observed indicators that school employees are becoming increasingly primed to anticipate active shooter situations as the most likely situations involving guns they will face. We increasingly see school employees responding to situations in a manner that would be more dangerous because of this type of inadvertent operant conditioning. We urge school and public safety officials to take great care to prepare school staff for the types of weapons incidents that result in the most injuries and deaths, not just those that garner the most media attention.

School Threat in New York State


School Threat


There was a threat of violence made against Marbletown Elementary School in the Rondout Valley School District.  The school received a letter threatening violence of an unspecified nature.  it is being investigated by the State Police, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department, and the U.S. Postal Service.


Schools will often get threats that go unfulfilled.  However, schools cannot fall into the trap of assuming there is no merit to the threat, without performing a thorough threat assessment, along with law enforcement.  It can be a time-consuming process, but it is one that requires full participation, and documentation.

It is best if this process is spelled out in advance, with roles for each participating agency written out.  The school should practice this regularly, if actual threats do not materialize.  It would not be prudent, in the face of an actual threat, to waste time wondering what should be done, and how.

The U.S. Department of Education has an excellent tool for threat assessment.  Schools should consider using this tool for evaluating school threats.  It contains the process for immediate assessments, followed by a more thorough assessment of the individual making the threat.  it stresses the use of a multi-disciplinary tea,.