Vincent LaRosa is a network administrator, Masculine Geek and adventurer. He’s an enthusiast of ancient areas and fascinated with urban decay - including the death knell of the American mall. In this episode, Vince discusses the genesis of one of Internet’s top shows - Masculine Geek, writing, urban exploring and an intellectual hike through the woods of life and mortality. REMEMBERING OOLOO. Decades removed from the bright lights, fans still remember Ooloo, a supporting character on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Although a brilliant actor, the writer’s delivered few opportunities for LaRosa's Ooloo to shine other than late in season two when Ooloo played a yeoman purser - a role that was functionally eliminated when the starship went cashless after convoluted storylines involving currency conversion practices that became ridiculous when Captain Picard authorized purchase orders for parts for the starship, curiously not stocked by Star Fleet, by bartering the equivalent of a sack of russet potatoes with the Narphwelens. WAS OOLOO A “B” CHARACTER? Although a “B” character, many, including fellow actor Levar Burton, and confidant Angela Lansbury, felt that Ooloo would have smoothly transitioned to the role of core cast member in a similar fashion to Jamie Farr’s “Klinger” replacing Radar O’Reilly (Gary Burghoff) on the TV series M*A*S*H. In a 2016 interview, Burton acknowledged the writers’ colossal mistake by terminating LaRosa’s character in a reckless cafeteria accident. Respected in Hollywood, the talented LaRosa passed on countless offers for auditions and instead closed the chapter on acting and moved to the East Coast. FOUNDING OF MASCULINE GEEK. Masculine Geek has become a Wednesday night staple for a loyal, growing tribe of very cool people seeking honest, unscripted discourse that harkens to all things masculine: motorcycles, rock bands, history of ancient civilizations, battlefields, and Dungeons & Dragons. Vincent’s concept for Masculine Geek took shape when Rob Says and TJ Martinell took the oath. Curmudgeon Aaron Clarey was a periphery member of MG, but amicably departed the show after its late (8PM Aaron’s time) start time interrupted his four hour naps. Vince, TJ and Rob meet up in the virtual campsite to deliver the Masculine Geek podcast live Wednesday Night’s at 9PM EST on YouTube and the show is landing some of the Internet’s prominent figures and boasts a highly interactive chat room. TIME TO LEVEL UP. The motto of the Masculine Geek is “Time to level up.” That’s right, you’re now part of the team - so do your part. Masculine Geek offers a discerning (free) weekly newsletter, masterly essays such as “Rise of the Lone Wolf” and “The Everyday MG’s Commandments”, paid content, merch and consulting. URBAN EXPLORING. Urban exploration is the act of entering, experiencing and photographing abandoned buildings or areas. The rule is to leave sites as you found them. Many of these places are dangerous due to a lack of maintenance over a long period of time. And, unless you have permission from the owner, you’re probably trespassing - so a cool geek hobby, but don’t go solo and always get permission. Vince shares accounts of urban exploring, including his intention to capture photos of a decaying mall and then pair those images with narratives for a book. David, relatively new to urbanex, attempts to describe the emotional experience of a long-abandoned farmhouse that still had clothing buttons tossed on a rotting floor. MEETUP.COM Vince underscores that people need to find others with similar interests and engage in a shared activity, such as building a house for Habitat for Humanity, hiking, or urban exploring. Although an online platform, Masculine Geek held its inaugural “Village By The Sea” in-person gathering last fall in October -- and future in-person meet-ups are planned. Check out the website masculinegeek.com FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com. This is episode 118.

As a school crisis develops, more time means more options. This episode’s guest works to put seconds back on the clock by teaching people steps to improve their chances for survival during a chaotic situation. ABOUT MORGAN BALLIS. Morgan Ballis is the Director of Strategic Planning & Training with Campus Safety Alliance which is a network of emergency management professionals, law enforcement trainers, and educational leaders providing evidence-based safety solutions for PreK-12 facilities and faith-based organizations. He is a firearms instructor, United States Marine Corps veteran, and is currently completing a doctoral degree in Emergency Management. ACTIVE SHOOTER DATA is CONFUSING. The number of school shootings over the past 20 years depends upon the source of the data. Morgan advocates for using data curated by the FBI which includes: number of attacks, locations of attacks, relationship of the shooter, timelines, and casualties. WHAT’S THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM LOCKDOWN? Lockdowns have become commonplace in today’s schools. Morgan shares that the origin of lockdown drills is rooted to 1970s Southern California when the threat was that someone driving by would shoot at a school. Imagine getting beneath window-level and pulling thick curtains on exterior windows. He noted that early lockdown drills where informally known as “Drive-By Drills” as the threat was external to the school. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LOCKDOWNS IN THE 1970s and TODAY. Unlike the drive-by threats of the 1970s, contemporary active assailant threats are manifesting within the school. Morgan shares data that these incidents are shorter in duration (3-5 minutes) and more often completing before the arrival of law enforcement – especially in rural areas. These changes in the profile of an active assailant event are rationale for Morgan’s support of an options-based response. SITE-SPECIFIC TRAINING. The school is the unit of measure. Morgan stresses the importance of addressing each school setting within a school district and going beyond quantitative data to interview students, staff, and stakeholders. He revealed that some prominent school safety firms deploy architectural engineers who assess the school environment from a design, hardware and software approach. This creates a conflicted interest as the company conducting the safety assessment will subsequently market solutions that it will sell and install, such as cameras – despite other priorities of defining safety terminology, equipping staff with reliable 2-way radios and teaching standard communication protocols. A TEAM OF EXPERTS. Morgan embraces building a team of content experts to work with him – a group that is matched to the needs of the location. This is known as small group theory and is similar to how the CDC operates when faced with a potential pandemic. IF MORGAN HAD JUST ONE HOUR IN A SCHOOL. Schools seldom have more than ten days of contracted non-student time during a school year. This time is quickly carved into bits for developing curriculum, mandated training on blood borne pathogens, grading, setting up classrooms, ... School safety has secured its place at the table of professional development, but there’s never enough time, right? Morgan advises schools to identify how much time they will allocate to staff training for school safety. The first priority is defining terminology and establishing inter-rater reliability. The second priority is a reliable communication system with 2-way radios for all staff. Morgan’s emphasis on communications aligns to this 2013 interview with communications expert Fred Varian: https://tinyurl.com/Varian-Interview-ComSec LEARNING OBJECTIVES. Threaded throughout this interview was the need to cultivate learning objectives for school safety activities. Are we testing the school’s 2-way radios? Are we measuring the mass communication system that alerts parents? How might a few learning objectives completely change the tone of a school district and outside agencies conducting oft-controversial intruder exercises? And, what do most schools overlook? FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com. This is episode 117.

What is legacy? What isn't legacy? Is a Danish a donut with no hole? Listen to guest Rob Says from Robsays.net as this episode of The Safety Doc Podcast addresses agency, purpose and legacy. YOUR ANCESTORS ARE NOT YOUR LEGACY. Defining your legacy by either your ancestry or by your children is a faulted scheme. First, lineage is certainly meaningful as it offers a sense of the family crest and greater tribe, but your pedigree affords you no bragging rights. Don’t waste your time on a mail-in DNA test in hopes that you’ll discover you’re faintly related to someone famous and by some transient properties that instantly makes you a “somebody.” You’re the great, great, great, great cousin of J.D. Rockefeller – that’s handy for trivia and useless for helping anyone to learn who you are and how you are making your mark on the world. YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT YOUR LEGACY. As for children, they are frequently tagged as one’s legacy. I Googled “Children” + “My Legacy” and surfaced 838,000 results. The first was an article by Forbes titled, “Your Children Are Not Your Legacy” and the second was an article by Huffpost titled, “My Children are My Legacy.” People are autonomous and everyone has the right to a unique agency and purpose. Affixing the legacy saddle to offspring robs them of agency and purpose. I could go on, but instead, listen to the episode. MORE REASONS YOUR KIDS ARE NOT YOUR LEGACY. As written by Rob on Robsays.net, “I've seen "legacies" end up behind bars. I've seen them drink themselves to death or overdose on heroin. I've seen them join gangs. Your legacy can't be your family as far as I'm concerned because they don't owe you anything and they aren't obligated to you. They can walk out of your life legally the moment they hit the age of majority and never look back. They are autonomous beings with thoughts, feelings, and desires of their own. Give them the space to explore that without the pressure of trying to live up to your legacy.” YOUR JOB IS NOT YOUR LEGACY. A job is a means to an end. All employers and employees are interchangeable and organizations have short memories – especially for good things. As Rob notes, this isn’t an excuse to be a responsible, diligent worker. But, be cognizant of the influence your job has over what you do, how you act, what you think – that pause before you say something or do something as although it might fuel you legacy, it might not blend in with the vanilla profile embraced by the folks over in human resources. As the Internet never forgets, people, especially younger career-driven people, are measuring their expression and probably repressing their expression. Is this compatible with building your legacy? ARE WE PAYING TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE ATTENTION TO OUR LEGACY? There are two ways to look at this question. When we are addicted to extrinsic feedback in the form of likes, thumbs up and digital high fives, then yes, we are paying too much attention to our legacy. It’s like we are opening the oven door every 3 minutes to check on the cake. So, as we confuse social media attention with authentic content creation, then yes, we are paying too little attention to value-added content creation such as blogs, podcasts and articles and instead snapping photos of ourselves and our possessions – all of which are the building blocks of your legacy. You are the composite of what you do, not the aggregate of what you possess. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com. This is episode 116.

The First Amendment protects so much of what is going on (although the public after a mass attack do not like to hear that). One thing is certain - the days are over of law enforcement issuing warnings to people making threats that might be made with the intent to intimidate others. TRUE THREATS AND STUDENTS - ACT OF TERRORISM. It is absolutely critical that schools overtly and bluntly make students aware that a threat to bring harm to their schools might result in arrest and prosecution as a Federal act of terrorism. Yes, the courts would need to consider the mental state and cognitive capacity of the student, but that’s likely done after the student has been taken into custody. TRUE THREATS PROSECUTIONS. “There has definitely been an increase in the visibility of true-threats prosecutions,” says Jennifer Kinsley, a law professor at Northern Kentucky University who litigates First Amendment cases. She explains that many of these arise from social media posts and from the domestic arena, where divorce parties make angry statements. These individuals may claim that their spoken words are protected by the First Amendment, that their offensive expressions were merely crude political opinions, jokes or rants not meant to be taken seriously—or misguided attempts to blow off steam. But in an age beset with mass shootings and fear of terrorism, government officials likely will contend that such utterings or mutterings fall into the category of true threats—a type of unprotected speech.” (Hudson, 2018, ABA Journal). FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTION. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, and right to petition. WHAT COUNTS AS SPEECH? Think far beyond the spoken word or written notes. Courts have identified speech as expression in: online posts; theater and dance, art, political yard signs, handing out flyers, and clothing. At least one federal appeals court has found that liking something on Facebook qualifies as speech! Some types of computer code may be considered speech, but the limits of that is still an open question. DEFINITION OF A TRUE THREAT. In legal parlance a true threat is a statement that is meant to frighten or intimidate one or more specified persons into believing that they will be seriously harmed by the speaker or by someone acting at the speaker’s behest. (Yelling “fire” in a theater is not protected public expression) True threats constitute a category of speech that is not protected by the First Amendment (O’ Neill, K. F., (2017) True Threats. MTSU.Edu). CONFUSION IN THE COURTS. The Supreme Court’s true-threat jurisprudence is less than clear. A review of lower court decisions indicates a hodgepodge of different results: (A) The Supreme Court of South Dakota recently upheld the conviction of a man for threatening a judicial officer by stating: “Well, that deserves 180 pounds of lead between the eyes,” and “Now I see why people shoot up courthouses.” State v. Draskovich (Nov. 21, 2017); (B) The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that a man’s statement to his brother—“If you go into the attic, I will hurt you”—could be considered a true threat and denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss. State v. Pelella (Oct. 10, 2017); (C) An Illinois appeals court reversed the threat conviction of a man who left the following voicemail on a public defender’s phone: “There is not a day that goes by since I was sentenced at that courthouse that I have not dreamed about revenge and the utter hate I feel for the judge. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t pray for the death and destruction upon the judge and upon every single person who sentenced me.” People v. Wood (Nov. 20, 2017). FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com. This is episode 115.

  • Purchase Dr. Perrodin’s Book: School of Errors – Rethinking School Safety in America. www.schooloferrors.com

Nick Schulaner is a 21-year-old guitar-playing Digital Marketer and Mechanical Engineering Student. He has taught in 2 programs teaching people how to do digital marketing so they can either promote their own small business or get jobs marketing for other people. He also has his own YouTube channel where he interviews other successful marketers and business owners. Because he’s so young, Nick has been able to see firsthand the type of fortifications schools invest in, as well as how those fortifications are perceived by the students themselves (spoiler alert: it’s not a pretty picture). GOING ALL-IN FOR HIGH SCHOOL SAFETY. During the 2013-2014 school year, Nick, (then) a student at a high school of 2000 students in Washington State, observed sweeping safety overhauls at his campus, including the installation of bullet-resistive window films and metal detectors at “some” of the entrances. Let’s examine the concept of “all in.” In American usage, the phrase “all in” began as a colloquial expression meaning to be in a bad spot—exhausted, worn out, and spent. In the game of poker, it refers to the moment when a player—whether out of bravado, recklessness, or desperation—bets all of his or her chips on a single hand. In other words, Nick’s school leaders were implementing a flurry of expensive and difficult-to-maintain safety measures with the presumed hope that these steps would satisfy panicked parents and perhaps increase school security. TEACHER ADMITS FACULTY UNABLE TO PROTECT KIDS. Per Nick, “Yet, even after all those things were implemented, I distinctly remember one of my teachers telling my class something to the effect of ‘I really hope we don’t have a school shooting here because we (meaning the faculty) have pretty much no way to protect you kids if we do.’ If anything, you could argue that all the fortifications actively made things WORSE by lulling people into a false sense of security.” NO STUDENT INPUT. Nick didn’t recall any time when school leaders asked students about safety concerns on campus or sought their input on what practices or devices might increase school safety. His friend who served in student government discovered that the collective student voice wasn’t of interest to administrators and ignored on serious matters, such as school safety. Nick shared that fights were a much more common occurrence at this school, noting a time when two girls duked it in a hallway over a cupcake. Yes, a cupcake. And, don’t even ask what was happening in the woods next to the school! WHAT MADE NICK FEEL SAFER AT SCHOOL. Nick shared that the metal detectors made him feel that his school was safer…until a few weeks into the school year when, due to long lines and other obligations of the SRO, the fidelity of metal detector checkpoints waned and students were able to enter and exit buildings unchecked at the schools approximately dozen entrances. PBIS AT HIGH SCHOOL “BEAMER BUCKS” Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is a formal program for teaching students positive and appropriate behaviors. A form of PBIS was in place at Nick’s high school and students received “Beamer Bucks” that could be redeemed for school apparel. He noted that the PBIS program was vague and the incentives would have been valuable if for things like pizza. Again, a “code of conduct” program implemented without student input. MARKETING SCHOOL SAFETY. Nick identified two reasons why people buy something. The first is to acquire pleasure and the second is to escape pain. In schools, the relentless pressure of parents to “do something” to improve school safety is the “pain” applied to the school board. Social proof, as Nick explains, is another powerful construct for selling safety. If you can show another school that has purchased a product, then the argument becomes, “That school made the investment to keep its schools safe…why aren’t you also choosing to keep kids safe?” FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com. This is episode 114.

Atham Aldecua's safety advice is to assume that you are always alone and that anyone else that can help you during a crisis is a bonus. Trust gut instincts and rely upon yourself to make decisions and find options within chaos. A caver, climber, hiker, and snowboarder, Atham’s forded the divide from self-similarity to chaos and skillfully navigates both physical and psychological terrain that would overwhelm most people. It’s a value-added mindset and Atham imparts pragmatic wisdom during this interview. RECONNAISSANCE & SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. Perpetually honing his situational awareness, Atham shared that while living in Mexico, Taiwan and the United States; he watched the natives, studied their behaviors and attempted to predict what they would do next. He advises people to seek similarities across situations as they are more prevalent than differences and enable you to quickly pick up predictable patterns. WANDERING THE DESERT. After deciding computer programming wasn’t his jam, an 18 year old Atham gained crucial work experience as a call center representative, restaurant assistant manager, window washer and hotel night audit. He smiled when sharing a time at the call center when he asked the caller to close his windows. The man rushed around his house closing his windows instead of closing the windows on his computer. Although hectic, the call center was relevant training for learning to successfully interface with people who were overwhelmed. Another story was when several people checked into a hotel at night after being delayed by a winter storm. The only person at the desk, Atham maintained his smile and got everyone situated for the night. He often states, “It doesn’t help to feel sorry for yourself or ask, ‘why me?’ – just do what needs to be done.” PSYCHE. “You know what needs to be done, so do it!” Atham attributes his success to a combination of family and friends, saying “yes” to new opportunities, and embracing hard work – which for him is a combination of 80 hour work weeks, a full-time course load in chemical engineering and exploring caves. SOMA. With guidance from a trainer, Atham has shed 40 pounds since spring, enabling him to hike with ease and be more efficient with caving. He added that he weighs all of his food portions and that 40 grams of sugar in a soda is eye-opening when 40 grams of sugar is scooped onto a scale. SPELUNKING or CAVING? Atham explained that spelunking is associated with novice cave explorers and that traditional and more serious enthusiasts refer to themselves as cavers. Caving for 3 years, Atham became interested in the hobby after watching a YouTube video. He went to caves.org and found a local chapter of the National Speleological Society. He is now vice-chairman of his caving club and also trained in basic cave rescue. THREE CAVING RULES. Always have 3 sources of light. Atham stated that novice explorers over-estimate their capabilities and have poor situational awareness. These folks use their cell phone light to wander through a cave, experience hypothermia or become disoriented. Another rule is to never explore a cave on your own. The third rule is to avoid running in caves as the terrain is damp, inconsistent and unforgiving. While GPS doesn’t function in a cave, Atham shared that, curiously, he’s had intermittent cell phone reception. ASSUME NO MALICE. A member of his climbing team skipped safety protocol and unfastened a rope which resulted in Atham falling 16 feet and dislocating his elbow. Rather than becoming angry or emotional, Atham maintained his composure and was able to direct others to facilitate his rescue. His ability to find control in chaos comes from a mindset of not becoming occupied with emotions. Per Atham, “Assume no malice when people are giving you a hard time. Or should I say... pretend like you are assuming no malice even though you are seeing it. This makes them look bad in public if they keep pushing it. It’s a technique that has worked for me a lot of times.” FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com. This is episode 113.

  • Purchase Dr. Perrodin’s Book: School of Errors – Rethinking School Safety in America. www.schooloferrors.com

STUDENT will give his best effort in all of his subjects every day. That subjective condition-statement was extracted from a school district's boilerplate one-page abeyance agreement. It's codified by the district's school board policy. With suspensions racing to extinction, this is in the new embodiment of student discipline and it’s not just a second chance to follow the rules. WHAT IS AN ABEYANCE AGREEMENT (AA). In public schools, an AA sets forth the conditions under which the school agrees to not impose discipline (detention/suspension/expulsion). AA is a practice wrangled from the legal system (not from education policy) where it’s often associated with a plea deal. AAs are also referred to as pre-expulsion agreements or a first offenders program. PURPOSE OF AN AA. School leaders champion AA’s as a tool of discretion that offers a second chance for students who have violated the code of student conduct. However, implicit functions of the AA include: (a) having a conclusive action to an investigation; (b) avoiding creation of a reportable data as AAs are not reported to local, state Department of Public Instruction, or federal agencies; (c) avoid convening the IEP team if the child has a disability (to discuss services and placement); and (d) shield the school board from an abrasive student expulsion. WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF AN AA? A Google search will surface countless AA templates - some as short as a page. AAs include, (a) period of time that the AA is in effect - often a semester; (b) attendance requirements; (c) requirement that the student follow the school rules; (d) statement that the student will give his/her “best effort” in school; and (e) signatures by student, parent and school administrator. Many include the following clause, “By executing this agreement the undersigned acknowledges that they voluntarily and without any undue influence agree to waive their right to appeal.” ...That last sentence. Yep, an AA is a slight-of-hand maneuver that separates students from their right of due process. IS AN AA REPORTED TO THE STATE OR FED? There is no requirement that an AA be reported to a school board, state department of instruction or federal department of education. In fact, most AAs are expunged from school databases after they expire unlike school suspensions and expulsions which must be reported to state and federal government. FIVE INCENTIVES TO ENTER INTO AN AA. Reasons that drive AAs: (1) keeps the district’s actions “off the books.” (2) has FERPA (privacy) shield; (3) if a student has a disability, or might have a disability that hasn’t been diagnosed, an IEP team would be convened to hold a manifestation determination and consider services and placement. AA might preclude convening the IEP; (4) simple and quick; (5) parents go along with them most of the time because an AA leverages the positionality (perceived power) of the school. The school often includes its lawyer to craft the AA or be present at the meeting with parents. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSUASION: WHY PARENTS ALWAYS AGREE TO AN AA. A parent might be intimidated by the school (as it is a powerful government institution) or overwhelmed by school authorities with advanced degrees and initials after their names. In these instances, parents perceive the AA as a “gift” from the school and sign it to bring the matter to a close and clean their child’s record. Other times, parents believe they pressured the school into making a deal due to their status in the community or making it known that they could unleash a “complaint campaign” or bring advocates to meetings. Regardless of the parents’ perception of why they are being offered the AA, the school gets what it wants - the signed AA. SIX SHORTCOMINGS OF AAs. (1) no oversight, efficacy research or reporting requirement; (2) less incentive for exhaustive investigation; (3) low threshold to fulfill the AA / no learning objectives; (4) privacy law keeps them secret; (5) denies due process to students [with disabilities]; (6) destroys a student record that might reveal a skill deficit, pattern of behavior or even bring light upon a systemic practice of institutional bias. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com. This is episode 112.

  • Purchase Dr. Perrodin’s Book: School of Errors – Rethinking School Safety in America. www.schooloferrors.com

In this episode of The Safety Doc Podcast, I talk with the co-author of Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created The Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students. He discusses student discipline reform, student disability policies, abeyance agreements, and pressures on institutions to ‘look as though they have no problems,’ and more in light of recent school shootings. ABOUT MAX EDEN. Max Eden is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Before joining MI, he was program manager of the education policy studies department at the American Enterprise Institute. Eden’s research interests include early education, school choice, and federal education policy. He was coeditor, with Frederick M. Hess, of The Every Student Succeeds Act: What It Means for Schools, Systems, and States (2017). Eden’s work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets, such as the Journal of School Choice, Encyclopedia of Education Economics and Finance, Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, National Review, Claremont Review of Books, and The Weekly Standard. He holds a B.A. in history from Yale University. WHO IS IN CHARGE OF STUDENT SAFETY? 43 states have laws for school safety plans, but there is minimal accountability. Schools submit logs to denote that drills were conducted and nobody at the state-level offers feedback. It’s the difference between completing a requirement and learning from an activity. DISCIPLINE POLICY. Mr. Eden has written extensively about the complexities of inconsistent applications of discipline policy. He discusses what gets reported and considerations of the perceived interplay of personal and institutional biases in discipline and consequences. Dr. Perrodin iterates the absence of inter-rater reliability between states and notes the examples of North Carolina having more than 100 possible reporting codes for school discipline infraction - including affray which is defined as an instance of fighting in a public place that disturbs the peace. Administrative discretion versus zero-tolerance policies were also scrutinized in this episode. Policies are applied differently for students identified with disabilities due to certain legal protections. BUYING ACCESS. David sought Max’s response to the article Superintendents Association Recommends School Security Companies — for a Fee. Safety Experts Call It ‘Buying Access’ and Decry Lack of Transparency (by Mark Keierleber of the74million.org; October 21, 2019). Are national and state school organizations selling out to vendors? In Keierleber’s article, he writes, “[The] company and others like it pay $18,000 a year for the right to call themselves “School Solutions” partners with AASA, The School Superintendents Association — an arrangement that has raised ethical questions among some security experts. THE SILENT SHAME OF ABEYANCE AGREEMENTS. Schools have a tool, often per the guidance of their attorney, to deliver a lesser form of discipline that isn’t reportable to any local, state or federal entity. What is an abeyance agreement and how is it undermining student safety? PRESSURES TO PORTRAY A GLOWING SCHOOL IMAGE. In the modern age of open enrollment and government shaming for reporting “authentic” discipline figures, schools are actively managing their public image. School-shopping parents, local realtors, businesses and powerful local interests want “good” schools and not “honest” schools. Dr. Perrodin shares his own account of this as a school administrator and how perception was valued over reality. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com. This is episode 111.

  • Purchase Dr. Perrodin’s Book: School of Errors – Rethinking School Safety in America. www.schooloferrors.com

In 2013, A 7-year-old Maryland kid chewed his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun at school and wound up with two days suspension. The pastry in question was not named, but it's gotta be a Pop-Tart, right? This dubious outcome, and others like it, are often the result of what is known as Zero-tolerance school safety policy. . WHAT ARE ZERO TOLERANCE POLICIES? Zero-tolerance policies were written into school handbooks in the 1990s, created originally to be a deterrent for bringing weapons into schools. Many students under strict zero-tolerance policies are punished without a second thought. School administrators are not afforded discretion to use professional judgment to match a consequence to a violation of the code of student conduct. This type of disciplinary procedure has been proven in research to have an overall negative effect on students, and a disproportionately negative effect on minorities. ABOUT RESEARCHER ANN MARIECOTMAN. Ann Marie Cotman is a doctoral student researching school policing at Texas State University. An educator since 1995 and a mother since 1998, Ann Marie fully respects and underscores that schools' first and most important obligation is to creating and maintaining a safe learning environment. As a researcher she is determined to make sure that safety driven policies truly support the safety of ALL students and are not unexamined practices that instead produce poor and inequitable outcomes. When not reading, writing, and researching, Ann Marie loves to play analog games with her three children and create art. She also gets to know the coolest kids in Austin Texas through her summer camp program and private tutoring! FOUR WAYS ZERO-TOLERANCE DISCIPLINE POLICIES UNDERMINE SCHOOL SAFETY: (1) prioritizes compliance over self-management/critical thinking; (2) undermines students' development of and confidence in their own decision making; (3) hides race (and gender, and other) inequities under the fig leaf of equal treatment; (4) discourages and interrupts the relationship building that is critical to creating a culture in which all community members want to come forward with concerns. ZERO-TOLERANCE PRETENDS TO REMOVE SUBJECTIVE DECISION MAKING THIS A PROBLEM FOR TWO REASONS: (1) Why would we want to remove the human element from addressing discipline problems? (2) We know both in design and application that it does NOT create an objective decision process. BETTER OPTIONS. Ann shifts the discussion to looking at the safety priorities of the school. Is it worth the time and investment to maintain polarizing Zero-tolerance policies at the detriment of cultivating relationships with students and families? And, for policies to be effective across the hundreds of thousands of school buildings in America, they need to be melded to each school setting. That involves affording the principal discretion to interpret and apply policies to best fit the setting. It’s not capitulating – it’s sensemaking. Ann also shared an example of a school that invited four students to serve on its safety committee and simple, potent positive changes that resulted from a group of educators and students working to solve the problem of chronic vaping by youth. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com. This is episode 110.

Purchase Dr. Perrodin’s Book: School of Errors – Rethinking School Safety in America.

Shift the locus of control. Sometimes it's as simple as recognizing that there are things that you can change and control. That's what Torus Theory is all about... Dr. David Perrodin delivers a podcast-format author event for his book, School of Errors – and reads specially-selected passages from the most honest book about the $3 billion school safety industrial complex. School of Errors successfully applied four key concepts to allow readers to better understand school safety in America! (1) The Torus (2) Chaos Theory (3) Simulated Annealing (4) Transference Dynamic. THE TORUS - it’s like a bagel! We expect today to be similar to yesterday and that tomorrow will be similar to today. Humans prefer for things to be similar and have sometimes refused to accept that something bad is happening and they have to deal with it. If the power goes out for 10 minutes, nobody panics. If it’s out for 10 hours??? CHAOS - when we are outside of our bagel. Chaos can often simplify and clarify our option - but we need to embrace chaos and stop trying to fight our way back into the bagel. SIMULATED ANNEALING - this sounds complicated, right, but it isn’t. If you’ve ever had a flight canceled, then you’ve processed through simulated annealing.  Simulated annealing is when you need to take many small steps to get from point A to point B. TRANSFERENCE DYNAMIC - what we learn about the world at kids, often through exploration, will dictate how we respond to crisis situations as adults. Exploration is a type of safety exercise. 100 years ago, a 3rd grader was able to explore 30 square miles around his or her home. Today, that unsupervised roam-zone is about a mile. And, instead of allowing kids to go on field trips, some schools are opting for virtual field trips as parents and teachers are convinced that will keep kids safe. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com. This is episode 109.

Purchase Dr. Perrodin’s Book: Schools of Errors – Rethinking School Safety in America

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