Archive for the 'Safety Doc Podcasts' Category

In 2011, I co-founded what would become one of the largest school-based positive behavior summits in the Midwest. As my partners and I crafted legal contracts with the conference center, vendors and presenters, we were introduced to the term “Force Majeure” which is very significant in Wisconsin in February. Ever since, I’ve considered force majeure as it relates to school safety – and that inevitably leads into chaos theory. WHAT IS FORCE MAJEURE? Force Majeure is French for “superior force”. Force majeure refers to a clause that is included in contracts to remove liability for natural and unavoidable catastrophes that interrupt the expected course of events and restrict participants from fulfilling obligations. In other words, if solar flare fried our electrical grid, we wouldn’t be on the hook to pay conference presenters their speaking fees as Tuesday’s conference wasn’t going happen as the communication, power and transportation structures largely left people with few options other than to stay in their homes or hoof it to the nearest supply depot. WAS 9/11 FORCE MAJEURE? Yes. New York, for example, hadn’t encountered a terrorist attack via commercial aircraft – ever! And, nobody had experienced all commercial planes grounded across the nation for days. If you couldn’t fly your shipment of XYZ from Boston to LA in 24 hours, as promised, then the force majeure clause would have been activated and you wouldn’t be held at fault for not fulfilling the contract. CAN FEMA DECLARE FORCE MAJEURE? I don’t think so. And, if FEMA has this ability, it hasn’t exercised it. But, it would be helpful for strengthening rescue forces during sentinel events, such as flooding. For example, in 2017, the nonprofit Cajun Navy Relief volunteered boats, trucks, food, manpower and other resources to rescue people from flooded areas. FEMA was largely a passive partner in this process – not overtly assisting Cajun Navy Relief in most instances, but also not a barrier to their interface into the government rescue system. This changed with Hurricane Florence in 2018 as FEMA was significantly less cooperative with nonprofits such as Triton Relief Group. If FEMA declared a state of force majeure, however, that act might clear the way for nonprofit rescue forces to play bigger roles, and in expedited fashion, with large scale rescues. WHAT DOES FORCE MAJEURE MEAN FOR SCHOOL SAFETY? This is a slippery interface. First, a declaration of force majeure might convey to some that the situation if insurmountable and they will simply surrender. On the other hand, force majeure can acknowledge that the state of similarity has officially transitioned into chaos – and actually embracing chaos can help people narrow down and make decisions that might save lives. 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. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com This is Episode #100.  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

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As of May, 2019, only 43 of 50 states require schools to have safety plans and conduct safety drills (Education Commission of the States, 2019). When states mandate schools to have safety plans and conduct safety drills, it is the individual schools left to determine how they will design said plans and drills. In some states, the safety plan must be presented to a school board and submitted to the state Department of Justice. However, without templates and rubrics, there is littler inter-school reliability. What is a “good” safety plan or “effective” safety drill? Nobody knows. STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT WAS THE TIPPING POINT FOR PROTECTING HUMAN SUBJECTS. While the Stanford Prison Experiment was originally slated to last 14 days, it had to be stopped after just six due to what was happening to the student participants. The guards became abusive, and the prisoners began to show signs of extreme stress and anxiety. These were university students, assuming assigned roles, as part of an experiment that attempted to investigate the psychological effects of perceived power, focusing on the struggle between prisoners and prison officers. THE MELTDOWN. Similar to the infamous 1963 Milgram shock experiment, Stanford’s experiment flew off the rails as subjects in positions of power followed directives that seemingly brought pain or harm to recipients.  Were the subjects acting as prison guards cruel, despicable people? Probably not. But, they were in a university context and a professor was mingling among them. They probably assumed that some measures were in place to prevent harm to recipients - and simultaneously lacked awareness of the endorphin rush they received from exerting their will over others. IRB WAS FORMED. In 1974, universities collectively ratified the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process. The mandate of the IRB is to provide ethical and regulatory oversight of research that involves human subjects by: Protecting the rights, welfare and well-being of human research participants, recruited to participate in research conducted or supported by the university. Psychological and physical welfare are carefully considered and risks are identified and mitigated. WHAT IS COMMON RULE? In 1991, 16 federal agencies formally adopted the core of these regulations in a common Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects also known as the "Common Rule" (Grady, 2015). I propose that adopting the IRB in K-12 settings will increase safety for all drill participants and, through the scientific model, increase efficacy of school safety drills. Common Rule applies, for example, to the Food and Drug Administration and clinical trials for medications. Common Rule was updated in 2019 with greater emphasis placed upon simplifying subject consent forms and clearly explaining potential consequences of participating in studies. IRB or COMMON RULE WOULD ELEVATE SCHOOL SAFETY DRILLS. Schools can establish their own standards for school safety plans and safety drills as long as they are complying with state mandates. In other words, schools IRB or COMMON RULE for these reasons: (1) Corral theatrical intruder drills that might traumatize or physically harm participants. This happens - just do a search on Google for “Intruder Drill Lawsuit”. Also, hyper-realistic drills are not the gold standard. If they were, we would conduct fire drills and tornado drills with similar drama. So, a committee of administrators, teachers, students, parents and board members review each proposed safety drill. (2) Each drill would have at least one learning objective. For example, “If a lockdown is announced during passing time, students would go to a safe location.” You can define “safe” per your site. Another example of a learning objective is, “Emergency responders will learn 3 techniques to engage with students with disabilities.” 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. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com 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

Resources used in this post:

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

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In 1978, an engineering student discovered a fatal structural flaw in New York City’s just-completed Citicorp Tower. What happened next wasn’t made public for nearly 20 years! NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL FIRE LEAD CONTAMINATION. Dr. Perrodin juxtaposes the Citicorp Tower dilemma with the modern day unfolding crisis of massive lead contamination resultant of the April, 2019, Notre Dame Cathedral Fire. Per the Guardian (in an article by Angelique Chrisafis dated May 9th), “The Paris police statement on Thursday said that on the surface of pavements and gardens immediately adjoining the cathedral, lead levels were found to be very high: between 32 and 65 times the recommended limit by French health authorities. The areas closest to the cathedral are currently closed. Lead levels are also high within the cathedral itself.” Wow! Dr. Perrodin notes that similar “defiant” articles are surfacing that both bring awareness to the lead contamination and bluntly state the dire short and long term health risks associated with approximately 500,000 pounds of lead vaporized from the cathedral’s roof. Chrisafis’s article later notes, “But the French environmental campaign group Robin des Bois has warned that about 300 tonnes of lead from the cathedral’s roof and steeple had melted in the blaze. The cathedral has been reduced to the state of toxic waste,” the association said shortly after the fire, urging authorities to detoxify the tonnes of rubble, ash and wastewater produced in the disaster. WHAT’S REALLY HAPPENING IN PARIS? David states that Paris officials are aware of the breadth and depth of the lead contamination issue and that there’s likely a contingency plan being assembled to deal with thousands of people impacted by lead in their bodies secondary to the Notre Dame fallout. Dr. Perrodin wasn’t surprised that areas close to the cathedral weren’t registering high levels of lead contamination as he points out that the thick plume of lead-laden smoke probably carried the highest concentrations of lead 2-3 miles from the cathedral before cooling and the particles dusted over Paris. PARIS HAS A LOT TO LOSE. Yep, admission of widespread lead contamination would destroy tourism (the economic engine of Paris) and how do you tackle lead abatement in a population dense region? Chernobyl could be isolated - you can’t do the same with Paris. Also, imagine the litigation! What happens to the $billion in donations to rebuild NDC when thousands of people rack up medical bills due to complications from lead exposure? The public health crisis would be off the charts! THE CITICORP TOWER FLAW COULD HAVE KILLED 20,000 PEOPLE. Chief structural engineer, William LeMessurier, is largely credited as the person responsible for creating the wondrous Citicorp Tower in 1977. He was a thoughtful engineer and put the design of the tower through its paces with wind test scale simulations in the world’s best lab and worked the standard battery of industry calculations. The tower was built in an innovative way to accommodate an existing church. Hence, the pillars that supported the tower were moved from the corners to the middle of each wall. A strong central pillar, like a mushroom stem, also supported the structure. WHAT WAS WRONG. LeMessurier received a call from an engineering graduate student who was puzzled at how the structure could withstand perpendicular winds. LeMessurier listened and upon further study of the building and learning of some last-minute changes that included having tension braces bolted in place rather than welded in place, he was terrified to be informed that the tower would collapse with encountering a 70 MPH wind from a certain angle. The tower had a tuned dampening system that would offset such winds, but it was electrical - and if the power went out during a storm - well, lights out! WHAT CITICORP DID RIGHT. LeMessurier the Citicorp brass, insurance folks, NYC officials and the NYC welder’s union acted in unison to quickly fortify the tower. They also hired 3 weather agencies to rigorously track weather conditions and formulated a 10-block evacuation plan in case of high winds. WHAT CITICORP DID WRONG. The workers in the tower or in proximal structures were NOT made aware that the tower could collapse. The decision to withhold this information was done to prevent panic and massive economic disruption to the city. In addition, officials believed they could evacuate the zone in time. However, Lemessurier is most strongly criticized for not sharing the wind shear information with the greater engineering community for several years. How many buildings were constructed AFTER Citicorp Tower without calculating for the peculiar wind shear factors confirmed by Lemessurier? In a recorded 1997 presentation he gave at a university, Lemessurier implies that other tall buildings existed that were susceptible to failure due to similar wind dynamics. How many of those structures might have been built differently, or retrofitted, had Lemessurier’s knowledge immediately been shared with building engineers? IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL SAFETY. Dr. Perrodin presents different scenarios that happen in schools. Each impacts the safety of the setting. How do the schools respond to each scenario if following what is unfolding in Paris or per the protocol established by the team that quietly mitigated the Citicorp flaw? 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. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com 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

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Dr. Perrodin notes curious inaccuracies of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, the bizarre subsequent investigation, a looming detrimental Paris health hazard and wraps this entire discussion within a the philosophical shell of torus theory. INACCURACIES ABOUT THE CATHEDRAL FIRE. This episode was originally drafted as a platform to use the cathedral fire as an example of torus theory - as interpreted by Dr. Perrodin. However, numerous oddities presented surrounding the fire and, more notably, the unusual activities hours and days following the fire. Dr. Perrodin clearly states that he believes the fire was accidental. Nonetheless, the borderline conspiracy elements surface in the dearth of media coverage specific to the spire renovation and an acknowledgment of the public health ramifications of 500,000 pounds of lead on the roof that was mostly vaporized during the fire. It is known that lead contaminants have been detected proximal to the cathedral, but Dr. Perrodin questions the assessment of lead contamination and also lead abatement in and near the cathedral. Also, firefighters are observed without breathing masks or air filtration masks which seems very dangerous when fighting a fire with a massive component of lead. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION’S POSITION ON THE ELEMENT LEAD. At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death. ... There is no known safe blood lead concentration. Dr. Perrodin postulates that it might not even be an option to rebuild the cathedral due to contamination and that costs of lead abatement will certainly became public within the next 6 months. TORUS THEORY, SIMILARITY and the NOTRE DAME FIRE. David steps the audience through the steps that occurred as a typical day as Notre Dame Cathedral disintegrated into historic disaster. TYPICAL. Humans expect today to be similar to yesterday and also that tomorrow will be similar to today. This is known as torus theory and it was very much a contributing factor both the seemingly casual response to the initial fire alarm at Notre Dame as well as the billion dollars of donations that poured in within one day and earmarked to rebuild the cathedral. ACKNOWLEDGE. As we embrace routines and similarity, it took a while for it to “sink in” that Notre Dame was on fire and wouldn't open up in a "couple of weeks". The onsite fire inspectors had no choice but to become informed as they observed leaping flames. For the public, it took longer to grasp what was happening to this 850 structure not only from a physical perspective, but the gut feeling of how the desecrated structure impacted beliefs about permanence and Christianity. SHIFT FROM THE TORUS TO CHAOS. After the cathedral was cleared of occupants, everyone understood that the torus was shattered and the next several hours, days and years would negotiate chaos. Chaos, however, can be liberating - it simplifies things and also leaves us to “work the problem” as it unfolds. Hence, the line of people conveying artifacts from the cathedral and firefighters having to determine how to deploy over-matched assets to best prevent the destruction of the structure. ACCEPTANCE. As the flames consumed the attic structure, it became widely accepted that the cathedral had been rocketed into a state of chaos. Everyone realized it was failing and mourning displaced awe. ATTEMPT TO RESTORE SIMILARITY. President Macron seized the opportunity to proclaim that the cathedral would be rebuilt, better than before, within 5 years. He made this statement as firefighters were still poking around the structure to cool hot spots. It was a powerful declaration that served to help millions of people return to similarity and it also opened the flow of donations to restore the cathedral. Macron told people what they wanted to hear and not what they needed to hear. The reality was that it would take structural engineers weeks to assess the damage to the structure. Had the load-bearing stonework been substantially damaged, had toxic levels of lead been found throughout the structure? I mean, it might not have made sense to undertake the money pit of rebuilding a fatally-wounded landmark. This might still prove to be true. And, if so, what happens to the billion dollar donation fund? What if will cost a billion dollars JUST to address the toxic contamination of the site? 20 YEARS FROM NOW. Dr. Perrodin predicts that the health-related implications of the Notre Dame fire won’t be realized for at least a decade - similar to the disabling conditions that eventually afflicted workers removing debris at the World Trade Center complex in New York. What will be the long-term impacts of thousands of pounds of vaporized lead on Paris? 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 and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com 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

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Why is May designated as Food Allergy Awareness Month? Dr. Perrodin points out the merits of awareness activities centered to food and other allergies - some with potentially life-threatening consequences. However, he identifies the irrationality of devoting the month of May to allergy awareness primarily as it is at the very end of the school year! 55 million students that attend schools in America every day - not to mention students attending post-secondary institutions. FIRE PREVENTION MONTH. Since 1922, Fire Prevention Month (began as Fire Prevention Week) was recognized across America in October. This made sense. As the cooler months settled in, people would resort to fireplaces to heat their homes. In modern times, Fire Prevention Month expanded to include awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning due to using portable heating units in confined spaces. I don’t think anyone would argue to change Fire Prevention Month. So, we can identify the logic with October as Fire Prevention Month. We can’t identify the logic with May as Food Allergy Awareness Month. THE PROBLEM WITH ALLERGY AWARENESS MONTH IN MAY. It’s obvious. It’s recognized at the end of the school year when it will offer little benefit to students and staff. Would we ever consider having the first fire drill of the school year in May? No - and it certainly doesn’t make sense to roll out the allergy awareness activities weeks before students head into summer vacation. HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE FOOD ALLERGIES? The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT) is a robust clearinghouse for food allergy data and professional development resources. I have used information from their website to substantially inform this narrative. In the US, an estimated 12 million people have food allergies - and the prevalence of food allergies in school-aged children is rapidly rising. Actually, allergies in general are on the rise - including reactions to latex or clay.  Food allergies cause roughly 30,000 emergency room visits and 150 deaths per year. KEYS TO FOOD ALLERGY MANAGEMENT IN SCHOOLS. In the United States, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 causes people to be reminded of allergy problems every time they handle a food package, and restaurants have added allergen warnings to menus. We can look to 2004 as the “modern era” for awareness of food allergies. Dr. Perrodin shares his personal accounts of collaborating with food service directors and school nurses to learn how schools can best manage food allergy risks. In fact, a contributing factor to food allergies might be as simple as a product vendor changing from one brand of applesauce to another brand of applesauce. So, it’s less and issue of how we handle food allergy awareness - the issue is WHEN we spotlight this critical matter. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR FOOD ALLERGIES. Dr. Perrodin offers authentic examples of educating teachers and students to the symptoms of allergic reactions; the sometimes complex and also the political interface between schools responding to a student presenting with a severe allergic reaction and the requests of the student’s parent. WHAT ARE EPI-PENS? When someone presents with a severe allergic reaction which often includes swelling of the airway and difficulty breathing, an epinephrine autoinjector (AKA, Epi-Pen) is used for injecting a measured dose or doses of epinephrine by means of autoinjector technology. It is most often used for the treatment of anaphylaxis. This can be done per medical order or without a medical order. However, 911 must be called following administration of the Epi-Pen as it will delay the full manifestations of symptoms. David mentions that schools can often obtain free Epi-Pens by contacting their health insurance carrier or philanthropic groups. He also has suggestions of ways to use expired Epi-Pens for professional development. COMMON FOOD ALLERGY ITEMS - THE BIG 8: Peanuts; Tree nuts (cashews, pecans, walnuts, etc.); Milk; Egg; Wheat; Soy; Fish (halibut, salmon, etc.); Shellfish (crab, lobster, shrimp, etc.). WHAT CAN SCHOOLS DO? David recommends that schools unilaterally designate September or October as Food Allergy Awareness Month and engage in the full spectrum of professional development and awareness activities that would otherwise happen in May. Then, in May, a refresher about allergy awareness can be incorporated into instruction and might serve as a reminder for students to be vigilant as they enter different settings during the summer. 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 and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com 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

Food Allergy Resource:

https://www.foodallergyawareness.org/education/food-allergy-awareness-initiatives/food-allergy-awareness-week-month/  

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Attorney James Sibley is a potent advocate for special needs students and their families fighting for fair treatment. In this episode of the Safety Doc Podcast, Attorney Sibley and host David Perrodin discuss the sprawling practice of limiting or exempting students with disabilities from school safety instruction, drills and access to threat reporting systems. James and David employ authentic stories that educators and parents will relate to in this vibrant discussion that is not about assigning blame and all about a more informed way for parents, educators and students to think about how to calibrate inclusive school safety. REASONS FOR EXEMPTING CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS FROM SAFETY INSTRUCTION. Attorney Sibley explains that educators think they are somehow "protecting" students with special needs by limiting their participation in safety drills. Many of these students present unique challenges during emergency situations and they shouldn't just be included in regular safety planning, there should be specialized safety plans in place for them. And, for those plans to be successful there needs to be preparation and practice. Dr. Perrodin adds that the hyper-realistic design of contemporary school intruder drills also prompts educators and parents to limit students with special needs from exposure to these types of drills. However, the question also arises of the appropriateness of these drills for all students and staff. Has the threshold of “reasonable” safety drills been crossed? LAWS FOR STUDENT SAFETY INSTRUCTION: IDEA and ADA. Attorney Sibley describes two of the primary laws that impact student safety instruction. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a piece of legislation that ensures the approximately 8 million students with a disability are provided a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that is tailored to their individual needs. Students with disabilities that receive special education or related services have a plan developed by the school team and parents to meet the needs of the child. That plan can, and should, include specific instruction and supports to ensure the student’s safety is maintained during a crisis situation. The other significant piece of legislation addressed by Attorney Sibley is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). People commonly think of this in terms of ramped entrances and accessible bathrooms. However, he brought awareness to Chapter 7 Addendum 2: The ADA and Emergency Shelters: Access for All in Emergencies and Disasters identifies that one of the government’s (including schools) primary responsibilities is to protect people during disasters and emergencies and to provide shelter that accommodates all persons, including people with disabilities. INCORRECT APPLICATION OF THE IEP PROCESS RELATIVE TO STUDENT SAFETY. First, you can’t do something in the IEP that would violate the ADA. The IEP has a portion that includes testing accommodations and Attorney Sibley mentioned that as teams discuss this section it is sometimes incorrectly broadened to include participation in safety instruction. Ultimately, students can’t be exempted from school safety instruction or drills for any reason. ASKING QUESTIONS IS THE WAY TO LEARN ABOUT A STUDENT’S SAFETY INSTRUCTION AT SCHOOL. Attorney Sibley believes much can be learned when parents adopt an inquiry-based approach to learning about their child’s school safety instruction and participation in drills. He gave the example of the following questions a parent might pose to school staff: “Are these drills designed to increase and enhance the safety on the campus? And if the answer is yes, is there some reason that you don’t want my child to be safe – as I want them to be safe and I assume you do, too.” WE UNDER-ESTIMATE THE POTENTIAL OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES DURING CRISIS SITUATIONS. Dr. Perrodin gave accounts of educators that exempted children with special needs from drills only because they anticipated that they would not perform well during the drill. In fact, the student had never been afforded the opportunity to demonstrate competency in the drill. Attorney Sibley added a story of when he was a Scout Leader and the Scouts, including some with disabilities, needed to respond to a rapidly rising river. Although the Scouts hadn’t practiced for that specific scenario, they had practiced for unforeseen situations and also recognized a chain of command. They processed the flood without panic and, as Attorney Sibley underscores, students with special needs will surprise us with how well they can handle emergency situations.  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 and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com 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 Learn more about ADA Chapter 7 Addendum 2 at https://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap7shelterprog.pdf

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

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I was attending a convention for school safety “experts” - I suppose. The presentations were a mix of pitches from field experts and product vendors. There wasn’t much new for me to learn and I found myself rather cynical and skeptical watching others present on school safety as everyone has a self-serving agenda. One of the veteran experts, someone I knew and tipped my hat to his work in both law enforcement and then in schools.  He begins his presentation with an amazing example of confirmation bias and headline research.  Headlines appear on the screen - the baited / incomplete headlines of school shootings and school violence.  A few seconds of audio from a newsreporter interrupted by another clip and another.  Headline after headline and faster and faster and more dramatic, rising background music for maybe 100 seconds. The screen goes dark. The presenter stands silent for an uncomfortable number of seconds. “That, ladies and gentlemen, is the urgency of school safety in America”, he said. I countered that this was not the state of school safety in America, but rather a perfect example of “headline research” manifesting in confirmation bias.  Yet, had that convention room been filled with parents, they would have demanded action – or fortification. Now. At any cost. WHAT IS CONFIRMATION BIAS. Per Wikipedia, confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses. It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. People also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. Biased search, interpretation and memory have been invoked to explain attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early in a series) and illusory correlation (when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations). HOW CONFIRMATION BIAS IMPACTS SCHOOL SAFETY. Remember, people will seek information that supports their beliefs. I can recognize this immediately when I’m not a “fit” for a school district that has hired me as a consultant. When I deviate from their company line, the audience frowns or they get a worried look. Confirmation bias often assumes there’s been some type of research conducted - but I’ve found that’s just not accurate - it’s more like my colleague and his headlines. Confirmation bias will prevent systems from evolving.  New thinking is dismissed. THEY SAW A GAME; A CASE STUDY. “When the Dartmouth football team played Princeton in 1951, much controversy was generated over what actually took place during the game. Basically, there was disagreement between the two schools as to what had happened during the game. A questionnaire designed to get reactions to the game and to learn something of the climate of opinion was administered at each school and the same motion picture of the game was shown to a sample of undergraduate at each school, followed by another questionnnaire. Results indicate that the "game" was actually many different games and that each version of the events that transpired was just as "real" to a particular person as other versions were to other people.” (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved) Hastorf, A. H., & Cantril, H. (1954). They saw a game; a case study. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 49(1), 129-134. 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 and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward  productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com 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

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Schools are exempting students with disabilities from participating in safety instruction and safety drills. These misplaced pardons are enabled via an incorrect application of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP)  process or a district-generated parent “opt-out” form. First, let’s be clear that it is illegal to exempt students from mandated fire drills. However, the practice is sprawling, unchecked and not enforced. Dr. Perrodin predicts deadly consequences from “protecting” children with special needs from receiving proper safety instruction. ANECDOTES. David kickstarts this episode by noting he is donning a beanie and insulated jacket as the basement of his North Star Studio was barely pushing the thermometer to 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Worse yet, the evening temperature would dip to minus ten degrees - a bit brisk for March. He shuffles through a few thoughts on his mind including: Why aren’t windshield’s more durable; How his home town issued a rare decree liberating residents from shoveling their sidewalks for the rest of winter; Why is it that people forget the blatant racism of Dr. Seuss’ cartoons during World War II; and looking ahead to the August 10th release of his book School of Errors - Rethinking School Safety in America. THE PROBLEM WITH EXEMPTING STUDENTS FROM SAFETY DRILLS: There are at least 10 million school-age children with disabilities in America and they aren’t receiving the same quality of safety instruction as their non-disabled peers. Per disability rights attorney James Sibley, “It is amazing how schools think that "sparing" special ed students from participation in fire drills active shooter drills and the like is showing them some sort of kindness. Many disabled students present special challenges during emergency situations and they shouldn't just be included in regular safety planning, there should be specialized safety plans in place for them. And, for those plans to be successful there needs to be preparation and practice.” Students must be provided skills that will generalize to home, stores or trips.  And, these skills must be resilient and reliable as the student exits school and enters the post-secondary setting. WHAT THE RESEARCH TELLS US ABOUT STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND SCHOOL SAFETY. Davis, Alicia & Gast, David. (1998). Social safety for young children: A review of the literature on safety skills instruction. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. 18. 222-234. “Young children in today's society may find themselves in situations that require appropriate action in order to avoid dire consequences, such as injury of death. These situations may be the result of contact with objects in the physical environment action in order to avoid dire consequences, such as injury or death. such as guns, knives, or toxins. In other cases, children may be faced with confronting dangers in the social environment, such as avoiding the lures of strangers or responding to the abuse or neglect of a caregiver. Although safety education programs are implemented frequently in school settings, few research studies have systematically evaluated the methodology for teaching safety skills to young children.” Dr. Perrodin praised this study and also noted it was perhaps the best available on school safety instruction although it was done more than 2 decades ago. He pointed out that the study urged future research not be conducted in a group style, but individualized, and that it was critical to conduct “in vivo” data gathering - or to observe the child in various natural settings including school. 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 and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward  productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com 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

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Originally coined by Masahiro Mori in 1970, the term “uncanny valley” describes our strange revulsion toward things that appear nearly human, but not quite right. This revulsion usually involves robots, but can also include computer animations and some medical conditions. THE UNCANNY VALLEY AND ANIMATED MOVIES. There’s a big difference between two popular animated movies released in 2004. The Incredibles portrays characters with intentionally angular and exaggerated features that leave no doubt to the viewer that they are watching cartoon characters. However, audiences packed with children cringed while watching The Polar Express with its dead-eyed people and an uncomfortable dark-tinge to the demeanor of the conductor - not to mention the unsettling message of the movie to carelessly hand over faith to complete strangers.  The movie slipped into the uncanny valley and wasted a stellar performance by Tom Hanks on a movie that’s perhaps better heard than viewed. TRANSHUMANISM. Dr. Perrodin shares a discussion he had with a friend that explored the matter of transhumanism, or the international philosophical movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology. An example might be contact lenses that allow people to record what is happening around them or even bio-engineering to increase intelligence. What are the security implications, for example, of people being able to record everything in their vicinity without awareness or consent of others? LIL MIQUELA. This teen has a million social media followers - an impressive feat, considering that she is a fictional person managed by a team of engineers, marketers and dreamers. Dr. Perrodin argues that Lil Miquela has crossed the uncanny valley - especially for children with perceptual or intellectual disabilities convinced that she is an authentic person. IMPLICATIONS OF AVATAR REALISM. Elections and marketing are immediate areas where avatar realism will substantially impact “the way things have been done” in the world. It’s completely possible to tailor an appealing realistic avatar that is a mouthpiece for political agendas or brands. While this arguably happens with people, the accountability of an avatar won’t be as susceptible to shaming and people will be less interested in applying pressure to the persons programming the avatars. SCHOOL SAFETY AND MANIPULATIVE AVATARS - THE NEW RISK TO CHILD GROOMING. Dr. Perrodin expresses concern that CGI avatars will eventually fall into the hands of child groomers and provide a means by which to develop a more comprehensive profile for online bait profiles. He urges schools and parents to make children aware and skeptical of potential realistic avatars. Dr. Perrodin notes that well over half of people “friended” on social media are never met in person - and this practice has made it easier for skilled avatar engineers to jump the uncanny valley as few people seek to validate or authenticate sources. SCARILY REALISTIC ‘DEEP VIDEO PORTRAITS’ & FAKE NEWS - ANYONE COULD BE FALSELY PRESENTED.  Finally, Dr. Perrodin mentions a new technology that allows the user to edit facial movements of persons to match dubbed voices. While not yet perfected or available at the retail level, such technology could be deployed to make it appear that anyone gave a certain speech or made certain comments. This is a novelty if you want to watch yourself giving a State of the Union address through some basic uploaded video. However, what if this software was used to make it appear that you made inappropriate comments? If a 30-second video clip of this fabricated presentation went viral, it could result in permanent personal and career ruin. Is it even possible to protect yourself against this method of character attack? 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 and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward  productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com 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 Lil Miquale article referenced in this episode: https://www.thecut.com/2018/05/lil-miquela-digital-avatar-instagram-influencer.html

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An optimal decision is a decision that leads to at least as good a known or expected outcome as all other available decision options. It is an important concept in decision theory. So, by deduction, a suboptimal outcome wouldn’t be “lesser than” an optimal outcome – but Dr. Perrodin questions the long-held belief that suboptimal outcomes are mistakes. SUBOPTIMAL DECISIONS CAN BE BRILLIANT. We need to understand how this conflates with decision making, as when we are talking about suboptimal outcomes, we are also recognizing that suboptimal decisions were made to arrive that suboptimal outcomes. This infers that the decision-making process could be tuned, and perhaps that is true, but perhaps the suboptimal decisions were quite brilliant in the presented context and situation.  Remember, all decisions are laminated to time, context and situation. Any study will frame sub-optimal choice from the deficit perspective. Whether it is the “paradox” of suboptimal choice or solving the problem of suboptimal choice. FLAWED THINKING. Dr. Perrodin argues that the way suboptimal outcomes are portrayed primes people for a single, convergent, universally-acceptable solution. In other words, the false premise that there is only one correct way to do something. MARKETING and CONSUMERISM. Advertising attempts to convince us that an optimal outcome, such as owning a functional economic vehicle, is actually a suboptimal outcome as the driver could be behind the wheel of an expensive luxury vehicle – which would deliver the identical optimal outcome of conveying him from one location to another. This myth of stacking optimal outcomes is vanity. SCHOOL SAFETY and SUBOPTIMAL OUTCOMES. Dr. Perrodin gives examples of when linear thinking and assuming there is a direct path to an optimal outcome can degrade a school safety situation. For example, if an evacuation route is blocked during a fire drill, staff and students will need to evaluate “suboptimal” alternatives that will eventually liberate them from the building. Another example would be an evacuation rally site that needs to be moved further away from the school due to circumstances that convinced responders to expand the perimeter around the incident zone. If you are unable to process suboptimal alternatives, you will be unable to incrementally move yourself toward safety. 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 and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward  productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com 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

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