Safe & Secure Schools: 27 Strategies for Prevention and Intervention
Publication Year: 2009
This timely resource offers recommendations that can help administrators prevent or minimize a potential crisis, facilitate an appropriate response, and aid in school recovery.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Planning
- Strategy 1 Starting the School Year: A Checklist for Safety and Security
- Strategy 2 The Principal's Homework: What Does Your Teacher Handbook Say About Safety and Security?
- Strategy 3 Strategic Supervision: The Foundation for School Safety
- Strategy 4 A Safety Game Plan for Cocurricular Events
- Strategy 5 On the Road Again: Discipline Investigations Away From School
- Strategy 6 Visitor Check-in and Screening Procedures: It's More Than Just Signing the Visitor Log
- Strategy 7 Ensuring the Safe Evacuation of Students with Physical Disabilities During an Emergency
- Strategy 8 Invest in a Safety Committee: Creating Strategies You Can Bank On
- Strategy 9 Speaking of School Safety: Creating a Conversation within the School Community
- Strategy 10 Closing Out the School Year
- Chapter 2: Response Strategies
- Strategy 11 Planning for School Emergencies: Part 1
- Strategy 12 Planning for School Emergencies: Part 2
- Strategy 13 Assessing Student Threats of Violence: A School's Response to a Growing Problem
- Strategy 14 De-Escalating a Situation with an Angry Parent: You'll Never Have to Answer for What You Don't Say
- Strategy 15 Fights at School: Breaking Up is Hard to Do
- Strategy 16 Head ‘Em Up! Move ‘Em Out!: Relocating Students During an Emergency Event
- Strategy 17 Student Searches: A Practical Application
- Strategy 18 Managing Electronic Devices: Sending the Right “Signals” to Parents and Students
- Strategy 19 Full-Court Press: A Media Management Plan
- Chapter 3: Professional Development
- Strategy 20 Is Your School Up to Speed on Safety?
- Strategy 21 What Teachers Must Know About Safety
- Strategy 22 Training Support Staff to Respond Appropriately
- Strategy 23 Intimidation, Harassment, and Bullying: Fear Factors in the Twenty-First-Century School
- Strategy 24 Holiday Blues: Responding to Seasonally Despondent Students
- Strategy 25 Tabletop Exercises: The Ultimate Tool for School Safety Training
- Strategy 26 There's No “Substitute” for Good Safety
- Chapter 4: Top Ten
- Strategy 27 School Safety's Top Ten: The Top Ten Things to Remember When Creating a Safe School Environment
Copyright © 2009 by Corwin Press
All rights reserved. When forms and sample documents are included, their use is authorized only by educators, local school sites, and/or noncommercial or nonprofit entities that have purchased the book. Except for that usage, no part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Brunner, Judy M.
Safe & secure schools: 27 strategies for prevention and intervention/Judy M. Brunner,
Dennis K. Lewis.
“A joint publication with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).”
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4129-6298-8 (cloth)
ISBN 978-1-4129-6299-5 (pbk.)
1. Schools—Safety measures—Handbooks, manuals, etc. 2. Schools—Security measures—Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. Lewis, Dennis K. II. Title.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
08 09 10 11 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Acquisitions Editor: Hudson Perigo
Editorial Assistant: Lesley K. Blake
Production Editor: Libby Larson
Copy Editor: Alison Hope
Typesetter: C&M Digitals (P) Ltd.
Proofreader: Dorothy Hoffman
Indexer: Sylvia Coates
Cover Designer: Lisa Miller
Graphic Designer: Karine Hovsepian
Nothing makes headlines more quickly than a school shooting. Such an event violates an iconic safe haven and prompts parents in every community to wonder, “Could it happen here?” Suddenly popular media outlets are activated, archived Columbine footage is flashed across TV screens, and school safety consultants are answering insistent questions: “Are schools safe? Are we investing enough in security personnel and equipment? Or—gasp—do we need a national policy?”
“These kinds of situations are just like terrorist situations,” National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Specialist for School Safety Bill Bond said on the occasion of one school shooting. “When people have so much hate in them that they don't mind dying, you don't have any deterrents left. People want to have metal detectors and security guards and all of this, but the real thing that makes a difference is working with the kids and adjusting to the kids” (personal communication, October 12, 2005).
Bond's comments strike a stark contrast between how school safety is considered by the general public and by school leaders. For school leaders, safety isn't just about preventing a tragic event: It's about maintaining a personalized environment in which every student is known and feels valued. It's about providing opportunities for every student to be successful. It's about modeling and fostering a pervasive attitude—on the part of every adult and student in the school—that threatening and belittling behaviors have no place in any school.
Not surprisingly, the conditions that mitigate school violence are the same conditions that promote high academic achievement. Breaking Ranks II and Breaking Ranks in the Middle (NASSP 2004, 2006), NASSP's handbooks on reform in high schools and middle schools, respectively, call for a school culture centered around personalization because, to quote educational reformer Ted Sizer (1999), “We cannot teach students well if we do not know them well” (p. 6). And knowing every student well encourages educators to work through their frustrations so that, even if those frustrations have not been resolved, at least they have been aired constructively.[Page viii]
From 2004 to 2007, members of the NASSP were regularly reminded of these themes in the “Safety Tips for Principals” column in Principal Leadership magazine. To their credit, column authors Dennis Lewis and Judy Brunner address the spectrum of safety issues—from the day-to-day behaviors that foster a positive climate, to warning signs of violence, to the specifics of crisis preparedness and response.
I commend Dennis and Judy on their work to ensure safe environments in schools and further commend them for taking their guidance to a broader audience. While the principal can provide leadership, it is only with a cooperative effort on the part of all with a stake in school success that educators can create truly personalized environments and can anticipate a day when news of a school shooting no longer hits the headlines.Dr. Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals,
Since the conception in 1999 of Edu-Safe LLC, a school safety consulting firm, several individuals and organizations have made significant contributions to the growth of our business, as well as to our own professional development. We are very grateful to them for allowing us the opportunity to submit articles for publication, present papers at conferences, and provide staff development to education professionals across the United States.
Three individuals that have been especially helpful are Jan Umphrey, editor of NASSP's Principal Leadership; Jim King, executive director of Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals; and Elizabeth Brenkus, former acquisitions editor for Corwin Press. Jan was the first to give us a national forum for our ideas and suggestions related to school safety and security through the column “Safety Tips for Principals.” Jim was always willing to provide ideas and suggestions for statewide professional opportunities, and Lizzie was never too busy to provide guidance and encouragement at times when we needed it most. We are very grateful for her professional demeanor, smiling face, and positive attitude.
We are also grateful to the following professional organizations:
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers
American Association of School Administrators
Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals
Springfield Missouri Public Schools
Last, but not least, we wish to thank our families and friends for being patient when our professional obligations and responsibilities took time, effort, and perseverance.[Page x]
About the Authors
Resources[Page 105][Page 106]General Classroom Safety Checklist
Emergency Management Team Duties and ResponsibilitiesRelocation Event
- Classroom has room number or usage displayed and easily read.
- Classroom door lock works.
- Classroom door can be locked without stepping into hallway.
- Classroom door glass has cover present or available.
- Classroom windows have blinds or other type of covering.
- Classroom window locks function.
- Room lights are in working order with good illumination.
- Telephone or intercom access is at or near teacher's desk.
- Phone directory is current and easily accessed.
- Emergency telephone numbers are readily accessible to all.
- Telephone usage instructions are posted.
- Violence hotline or similar type telephone number are posted.
- First aid kit or supplies are stocked and location identified.
- Severe weather and sheltering maps are posted (with primary and secondary locations).
- Evacuation and sheltering locations have been discussed with students.
- Flip chart is posted and reviewed with students.
- Laminated cards with room numbers for emergencies are easily located and accessible.
- Classroom rules are posted and discussed with students.
- The nearest fire extinguisher is located and more than one person is knowledgeable in its use.
- Free-standing bookcases and cabinets more than five feet tall are secured to the wall.
- Television is strapped or secured to a wall mount or portable stand.
- The room is free of trip hazards.
(Title in bold indicates recommended terminology by the U.S. Department of Education and the United States Department of Homeland Security.)[Page 108][Page 109]Out-of-District Travel Safety Checklist[Page 110]Student Search Form
This form can be used to document basic information related to the search of a student and/or personal items.[Page 111][Page 112]Substitute Teacher: Critical Information Checklist
Bibliography[Page 113]American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Quick Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-IV-TR. Washington, DC: Author.2006). A Bullying Prevention: Tips and Strategies for School Leaders and Classroom Teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.(1999). Bully-Free Classroom. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.(2004). Breaking the Culture of Bullying and Disrespect Grades K-8. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press., & (2001). Problem-Solving Exercises: Elementary Edition. Springfield, MO: Edu-Safe Publishing., & (2001). Problem-Solving Exercises: School Resource Officer Edition. Springfield, MO: Edu-Safe Publishing., & (2001). Problem-Solving Exercises: Secondary Edition. Springfield, MO: Edu-Safe Publishing., & (2001). Problem-Solving Exercises: Student Edition. Springfield, MO: Edu-Safe Publishing., & (2002). Problem-Solving Exercises: Support Staff Edition. Springfield, MO: Edu-Safe Publishing., & (2004). Providing Teachers the Tools for Safe Classrooms. Springfield, MO: Edu-Safe Publishing., & (2005). School House Bullies: Preventive Practices for Professional Educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press., & (2006). Student Searches: A Practical Application for School Administrators. Springfield, MO: Edu-Safe Publishing., & (Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (1999). The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective. Washington, DC: Author.Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). (2004). National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction Self Study Guide. Washington, DC: Author.2003). Bullying the Bullies, the Victims, the Bystanders. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, Inc., & (2007). Toward Successful School Crisis Intervention Nine Key Issues. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.(2004). Preventing Bullying in Schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.(2006). School Bullying: Tools for Avoiding Harm and Liability. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.([Page 114]2004). Dealing With Bullying in Schools: A Training Manual for Teachers, Parents and Other Professionals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press., & (National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). (2004). Breaking Ranks II: Strategies for Leading High School Reform. Reston, VA: Author.National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). (2006). Breaking Ranks in the Middle: Strategies for Leading Middle Level Reform. Reston, VA: Author.Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools and U.S. Department of Education. (2003). Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities. Washington, DC: Author.2001). Stop the Bullying: A Handbook for Teachers. Markham, Ontario: Pembroke Publishers.(2006). Bullying From Both Sides: Strategic Interventions for Working with Bullies and Victims. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.(1999, September). No two are quite alike. Educational Leadership, 57, 1, 6–11.(2003). Surviving Aggressive People: Practical Violence Prevention Skills for the Workplace and the Street. Boulder, CO: First Sentient Publications.(2004). Bullying in Secondary Schools: What It Looks Like and How to Manage It. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press., , & (U.S. Department of Education (DOE). (1998). Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools. Washington, DC: Author.U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS). (2003). Bullying Is Not a Fact of Life. Washington, DC: Author.U.S. Secret Service (Secret Service) and U.S. Department of Education (DOE). (2002a). The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States. Washington, DC: Secret Service and DOE.U.S. Secret Service (Secret Service) and U.S. Department of Education (DOE). (2002b). Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and to Creating Safe School Climates. Washington, DC: Secret Service and DOE.2006). Checklists for Searches and Seizures in Public Schools. Eagan, MN: Thomson/West Publisher., & (
Corwin Press[Page 123]
The Corwin Press logo—a raven striding across an open book—represents the union of courage and learning. Corwin Press is committed to improving education for all learners by publishing books and other professional development resources for those serving the field of PreK-12 education. By providing practical, hands-on materials, Corwin Press continues to carry out the promise of its motto: “Helping Educators Do Their Work Better.”American Association of School Administrators
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders across the United States. AASAs mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit http://www.aasa.org.[Page 124]