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Proactive School Security and Emergency Preparedness Planning

Proactive School Security and Emergency Preparedness Planning

  • Kenneth S. Trump - National School Safety and Security Services, Cleveland, Ohio

April 2011 | 328 pages | Corwin

"The information in this landmark book will reduce school violence and save lives. I recommend it with the highest possible praise."
—Scott Poland, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Suicide and Violence Prevention
Nova Southeastern University Center for Psychological Studies

An all-in-one resource for keeping students safe

As concern about school safety continues to escalate, the need for heightened school security has never been more urgent. Educators want practical, cost-effective school safety strategies that come from credible sources and can be implemented quickly. Author Kenneth S. Trump has dedicated his career to making schools safer, and he delivers solutions in a concise and straightforward manner. The book begins with an overview of school security and the politics surrounding it, then provides nuts-and-bolts strategies for preventing violence and preparing for crises. The text covers today's hot topics such as:

  • Bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment
  • After-school, transportation, and athletic event security
  • Managing media and parent communications on safety and crises
  • Practical, cost-effective security and preparedness within tight budgets

Although school security can be an emotionally charged subject, this book stresses the importance of collecting data and acting rationally. Included are ideas for working with community leaders, police, parents, businesses, and political officials to improve school and community safety and security. The author's companion website keeps readers current with breaking news, free resources, and interactive dialogue on the latest developments in the school safety field.

Disclaimer and Legal Notices
Foreword by Dr. Scott Poland
About the Author
I. Understanding and Managing School Safety
1. The Evolving Threats to School Security
The School Security Threat Continuum  
Internal and External Threats to School Safety  
Assessing Threats and Prioritizing Risk Reduction  
Roller Coaster Awareness, Policy, and Funding: The Biggest Ongoing Threat to School Safety  
2. The "Politricks" of School Security
Denial, Image, and Underreporting  
Awkward Circumstances Encourage Downplaying of School Safety  
Reality, Not Rhetoric  
3. Comprehensive School Safety Planning and Leadership
School Safety as a Leadership Issue  
Getting on the Same Page  
Overcoming Denial  
Financial Obstacles  
School Safety as a Public Relations Tool  
Community Ownership  
Tools for Balance  
Risk Reduction Framework  
II. Proactive School Security: Focusing on Fundamentals
4. School Security Assessments
Assessment Definition and Use  
Assessment Expectations, Best Practices, and Levels  
Who Should Assess  
Avoiding a Template Approach to School Security Assessments  
Focus Assessments on More Than Hardware and Manpower  
Evaluation Methods and Identifying Policy-Practice Disconnects  
Areas That May Be Evaluated in a School Security Assessment  
Benefits of Assessing  
5. School Security Strategies and Issues
Administration Building, Board Meeting, and Support Site Security  
Adult-Originated Violence  
After-Hours School Security: Activities and Community Use of Schools  
Arming Teachers and School Staff  
Athletic and Large Event Security  
Bomb Threats and Suspicious Devices  
Cell Phones, Camera Phones, and Text Messaging  
Computer Security Measures  
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design  
Drug-Sniffing Dogs  
Election Day Security  
Elementary School Security and Aggression by Younger Students  
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and School Safety  
Hotlines and Other Anonymous Reporting  
Lockers and Bookbags  
Personal Safety  
Personnel and Internal Security  
Physical Security  
Private, Independent, and Charter Schools  
Probation Officers in Schools  
School Resource Officers, School Police Departments, and School Security Departments  
School Security Equipment: Metal Detectors, Cameras, and Other Technology  
Sex Offenses  
Student Involvement in School Safety Planning  
Student Searches  
Special Education and School Safety  
Tasers and School-Based Police Officers  
Training Staff on School Security and Emergency Preparedness  
Transportation Security  
Uniforms and Dress Codes  
Zero Tolerance and School Discipline  
6. Managing Bullying: Focusing on Supervision, Conduct Codes, School Climate, and Mental Health Strategies
Defining Bullying  
Bullying: One Threat on a Broad Threat Continuum  
The Mythical Attribution of Bullying as the Cause of School Shootings  
Bullycide, the Media, and the Contagion Effect  
Practical Anti-Bullying Strategies: Supervision, Security, Discipline, and Criminal Law  
School Climate Strategies  
Mental Health Support for Students  
Cyberbullying and Sexting  
Anti-Bullying Communication Strategies  
Political Hijacking of Bullying for Broader Social and Political Interests  
The Case Against Anti-Bullying Laws  
7. Preparing Schools for Terrorism
The Terrorist Threat to Schools: Soft Targets  
Domestic vs. International Terrorism  
Overcoming the Denial, Fear, Politics, and Naysayers  
Heightened Security Procedures for Schools  
Biological and Chemical Threats  
General Considerations in Times of Terrorism and War  
8. Managing School Safety on Tight Budgets
Practical School Safety Considerations on Limited Budgets  
Budgeting for School Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness  
Low-Cost and No-Cost School Safety Strategies  
9. Parents and School Safety
Practical Things Parents Can Do to Assess School Security and Emergency Preparedness  
How Parents Can Reduce Child Safety Risks at Home  
Steps Parents Can Take to Address School Safety Concerns  
III. Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools
10. Early Warning Signs of Violence
Concerns and Caveats  
Checklists and Gurus  
We Are Federal Agents and We Are Here to Help You  
Early Warning, Timely Response  
Frontline Observations  
Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment Issues  
Another Call for Common Sense  
11. Assessing and Managing Threats
Threat Assessment Protocol  
12. Lessons Learned From School Crisis Incidents
Be Prepared, Not Scared  
Priority One: Emergency Preparedness  
Prevention: An Equal Priority  
Deal With Small Problems  
School Climate  
Overcoming Student Denial  
A Switch From Snitch  
Listen to Kids and Parents  
Rely on Local Data  
Why Suburban White Kids Kill  
Train Emergency Service Personnel  
Thinking Security When There Is Not a Crisis  
Buyer Beware: Overnight Experts, Gurus, and Gadgets  
13. Emergency Preparedness Planning and Preparation
Four Phases of Emergency Management  
Normalization Nonsense  
The Process  
Emergency Guideline Documents  
The Preparation  
Pulling It All Together  
14. Emergency Response and Crisis Management
Emergency Response: The First Half Hour  
Roles and Responsibilities  
Specific Considerations for Before, During, and After the Emergency Service Personnel Response  
15. The Postcrisis Crisis: Managing Media and Parent Communications
Managing Cell Phones, Text Messaging, and Social Media  
Developing Your Message: Parent Expectations After a Safety Incident  
An Inside Look at The Business Side of Today's Media  
Traditional School District Parent and Media Management: It Doesn't Work Today  
Getting Out Front on School Safety Communications  
Media Crisis Communications Guidelines  
Crisis Credibility and Reputation Management  
Lessons for the Media on Covering Ongoing Crises  
16. Preparing for the Postcrisis Crisis: Managing Mental Health, Security, Financial, Operational Continuity, Liability, and School-Community Political Issues
Mental Health Support for Grief and Healing  
Security and Emergency Preparedness Postcrisis Demands  
Financial and Continuity Of Operations Plans for Crisis Response and Recovery  
Litigation Preparedness  
School-Community Postcrisis Politics  
IV. Future Directions
17. State, Federal, and Academic Support for School Safety
State-Level Strategies  
The Federal Role  
Colleges of Education  
Where to Now?  
Recommended Readings  

"Finally, a comprehensive and common sense approach to school safety with practical nuts and bolts answers. Ken's book is a must read for every school safety leader in this country regardless of their level of experience or expertise. It is the kind of book one will use as a reference book time and time again."

Chuck Hibbert, Coordinator of Safety and Transportation Services
President, Hibbert Safe School Consulting, Indianapolis, IN

"Ken Trump has written the perfect follow-up to his last book, which dealt with how schools can prevent and manage school crises. Both books should be mandatory reading for principals and superintendents. The reader may expect honest, straightforward, and useful information and concepts."

Jack Martin, retired Supervisor of Security and Chief of Police
Indianapolis Public Schools, Indianapolis, IN

"Every educator responsible for the safety and well being of students need to learn from this practical and comprehensive resource from Ken Trump. Ken’s experience provides the reader with the critical steps to take in preventing, managing, and dealing with the aftermath of a crisis. Much of his advice deals with building relationships with school, community, and government officials - a key element in crisis communications that is often overlooked until it is too late. Superintendents need to put this book on their principals’ reading list and discuss changes for their school districts."

Rich Bagin, Executive Director
National School Public Relations Association, Rockville, MD

“Ken Trump is a tremendously valuable resource in terms of security planning and best practices in keeping our students and faculty safe. His expertise and exceptionally thoughtful grasp of the way schools work make him an outstanding consultant for both private and public schools, and I recommend his book most enthusiastically.”

William Christ, Head of School
Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights, Ohio

"The book addresses the history of school safety, the complex and controversial realities of today, and considerations for the future. It is simply the best investment you can make to help keep your kids safe and healthy so that they can learn more and live better."

Dr. Stephen Sroka, President
Health Education Consultants, Lakewood, OH

"The emphasis on collecting data and working with community leaders and parents fills this book with practical assessments of common problems and solutions."

James A. Cox, Editor in Chief
The Midwest Book Review, August 2011

In Proactive School Security and Emergency Preparedness Planning, Ken Trump has done a masterful job of providing an extensive and practical description of what schools need to do to help their students, staff, and campuses be safe, secure, and prepared for a wide variety of emergencies. An international expert in this area, Trump addresses such critical topics as school safety planning and leadership, school security strategies and procedures, and emergency readiness and planning. But he does this by providing the step-by-step check-lists that schools need to identify the “early warning signals” that can prevent many threats from becoming crises, and the “intervention and response” protocols that resolve and debrief these crises if they do occur. This is an essential guide for any district or school that wants to comprehensively evaluate its prevention and response system in the multifaceted areas related to school safety. The knowledge and experience reflected in this book will be relevant and should be heeded for many years to come.

Howie Knoff, President

I would like access to Instructor's supplements if available for the instructor Ken Pryor. Please advise as to the options available for powerpoint, testbanks, etc.

Mrs Sharon McElyea
EMS, Lincoln Trail College
January 25, 2013
Key features

Readers will find straight-to-the-point information on school security and emergency preparedness. The book first looks at threats to school security and the politics surrounding it, and then moves right into the nuts-and-bolts strategies for preventing violence and preparing for crises.

Updates on topics in this book will be added to the author's web site at For timely and breaking updates on current trends, hot topics, free resources, news, opinion, and interactive dialogue on the latest developments in the school safety field, visit Trump's blog at and sign-up for daily email alerts.

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ISBN: 9781412974318

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