Archive for the 'School Safety' Category

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

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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

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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.

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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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Homeland Security twirled off the rails with its patchwork 2018 Guide to Preventing School Gun Violence. Anyone else think suggesting smoke cannons as counter-measures to an active shooter is better scripted for Hollywood than for classrooms? SINGLE FOCUS SAFETY INITIATIVES. In my book, School of Errors, I use the analogy of fielders in a baseball game to make an argument against single focus safety initiatives. One could train baseball players to field line drives. In fact, the coach could swat sizzling liners for hours. Players would improve at fielding liners hit directly to them. Per our friends at Baseball Info Solutions, we know the following statistics to represent a typical game of baseball. 45% of batted balls were grounders, 36% were fly balls and 19% are line drives. Practice all you want on liners, but if you can’t snag a grounders then you are going to be foiled by half of the balls put into play. In other words, we need our professional guidance documents to prepare us to field any ball. FOUR PHASES OF SECURITY. The DHS guide identifies four phases of security: Connect, Plan, Train and Report. OK, connect with law enforcement and community agencies. That makes sense, until you realize that the steady churn of staff will shuffle the point of contact every few months. People are great at starting inter-agency collaborative teams. People stumble at attempting to sustain such efforts. The guide doesn’t address this or the need to have redundancy in training and a solid induction process for on-boarded players. The 29-page missive wasn’t enriched by this section, or other sections that attempted to push in place a foundation for the document. Readers don’t need a literature review. Know your audience. WHAT IS AN OFC? Beats me – and I’ve been in this field for over 20 years! Mystery solved! It is an Option For Consideration. You have to hunt through the document to find that in the narrative as it’s not bolded or highlighted. Oh, I later found it in Appendix E: Acronyms. So, we have a “new” term. DHS whiffed at the most important point. Do not take on too many OFCs! Again and again, school administrators tell me they can focus on 3-4 objectives and yet routinely list a dozen or more safety objectives as they don’t want to leave anything off the list. I get it, but you can’t be a mile wide and an inch deep. THE WILD IDEAS OF APPENDIX A: EVOLVING PRODUCTS. This section was a sloppy mix of primitive technology (CCV), stating the obvious (Door Locks), and ludicrous ideas including thwarting school intruders with smoke cannons, turnstiles and drones. What’s next? Perhaps dumping a jar of 5,000 marbles into the hallway would impede the shooter? After all, a similar approach proved effective in the movie Animal House. REMS-TA IS THE BETTER OPTION. The biggest problem with Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center (REMS-TA) is that many school leaders aren’t aware of it. Yep, even my knowledge of REMS-TA was scant until member checks in the field continually calibrated me to what is the most complete, accessible, friendly center dedicated to increase school safety. These folks are dialed in. You won’t weed through redundant or fluffy documents to find something you can plug into your school safety plan. REMS-TA has templates, samples, and will connect you with a local person to inform your school’s emergency management. And, webinars that are relevant and they know your name! It’s not attending some one-way concert. Learn more about REMS-TA: https://rems.ed.gov/K12GuideForDevelHQSchool.aspx If you want to be entertained by the hot mess that is the K-12 School Security Guide 2nd Ed. (2018), visit https://www.dhs.gov/publication/k-12-school-security-guide 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 106.

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

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Enjoy the amazing story of the making of the most honest book written about the school safety industrial complex! Hector Solis, producer of the riveting investigative truth Awareness Podcast,  interviewed author David Perrodin and gifted him a brilliantly-rendered episode titled: The Making of School of Errors. ABOUT SCHOOL OF ERRORS. School of Errors: Rethinking School Safety in America released on August 7, 2019. The book establishes another voice in the discussion of how to promote safe schools. It challenges the unchecked expansion of school fortification and questions the realized benefit of inter-agency collaboration during a sentinel event. School of Errors offers an alternative to traumatizing simulations by providing clear options for improving school safety by the empirically-proven effective measures of leakage detection and sensemaking. Dr. Perrodin restores the scientific method to school safety and clears a path through the media rhetoric fogging this vital topic. THE ARTICLE THAT BECAME A MANUSCRIPT. In 2015, an education journal published David's school safety article. Fortunately, the journal’s editor was friends with an editor at book publisher Rowman & Littlefield. Connections were made and, confident in his expertise and experience, David aimed to write a book that would peel away the rhetoric and deliver an empirically-based, and at times punchy, account of the forces shaping school safety in America. He submitted a book outline and was subsequently offered a book contract. SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY AND DE-CONSTRUCTING COMMUNICATION. Hector recognized how Dr. Perrodin’s university degrees and work in communicative disorders and speech-language pathology centered the de-construction of the communication process - breaking words into phonemes, or sounds, and carefully monitoring expressed communicative messages to ensure they aligned to how the recipient actually comprehended the message. This keen observation shed light upon David’s prioritization of communication systems, including 2-way radio systems and concise communications protocols, as being fundamental to safety. Clear messages. Conveying information. Checking for understanding. In the first pages of School of Errors, David writes about a time when he urged a colleague to assess his district’s communication systems before making a decision to spend money on surveillance cameras. MEMBER CHECKS RAISED THIS BOOK ABOVE OTHERS. First, this book is packed with short stories. You will NOT be bored by a textbook disguised with a fancy cover. The narratives ease you from page to page and the themes couple like railcars being systemically assembled on the tracks. David willingly submitted his manuscript to authentic experts and sought their candid feedback of this work. Dr. Paul Rapp, Dr. Seann Dikkers, Hector Solis, and others, calibrated the manuscript as it clawed forward through edits and proofs. The robust reference section and index are tributes to the depth of research and input from members of the safety community. Additionally, personal interviews with Katie Pechon and Kevin Sullivan bring forward vibrant stories from which the reader will better understand chaos and order as it manifests in the real world -- in ways that are NOT found in binders or flowcharts. WHAT WAS THE MOST SURPRISING THING THAT HAPPENED WHILE WRITING THE BOOK? David and his family were grocery shopping at 8PM on a Friday night. His phone rang and he answered. “I found it!” exclaimed a voice loud enough to be heard in the bread aisle. On the phone was Yvette from the New York City Planning Department. She helped fulfill David’s requests for NYC documents specific to the study of the 9/11/2001 attack on the city. 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 105. Thank you to Hector Solis for conducting the interview and producing this show!

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

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Dr. Perrodin founded two major school conferences and thoroughly understands the teacher professional development industry. David is keenly aware that school safety conferences geared toward school administrators, school boards and teachers has devolved from showcasing best practices to a cash-grab exposition of the latest, greatest, flashiest safety gizmos and doodads. GONE ARE THE RESEARCHERS. Ten years ago, safety conference keynotes were reserved for motivational speakers and researchers. The strategy was to share an empowering story and then turn the stage over to people that were fluent in educational research. This wasn’t always perfect, but it often ensured empiricism over rhetoric. School safety conferences are sprouting up across the country and the presenters are now primarily on the response side of safety - and not specifically school safety. Conference seek folks from the FBI, Secret Service and the military. These folks are not school safety researchers, but their credentials are mesmerizing and they share interesting stories that seldom have anything to do with school safety. HOW CONFERENCES GENERATE REVENUE. A market savvy conference coordinator will exploit numerous revenue streams. Here are four common sources of revenue: (1) Attendees registration fees; (2) Vendors; (3) Sponsors; (4) University credits or Continuing Education Units (CEUs). University credits have waned in recent years, but were very popular around 2011 and before when teachers could ascend the pay schedule by taking university credits. EXPENSES OF OPERATING A CONFERENCE.  Running a conference of fewer than 300 people is often more expensive, per person, than running a larger event. Bulk is better. Here are seven primary expenses of operating a conference: (1) Exhibition space; (2) Meals; (3) A/V equipment; (4) Presenter fees and expenses; (5) Marketing; (6) Staff to organize the event and process registrations; (7) Agency overhead. TEN THINGS YOU CAN NEGOTIATE AS A CONFERENCE PLANNER. A charismatic, keen conference planner will find ways to maximize profits. Here are some strategies: (1) Finding keynote presenters that are already paid by their employer. This often applies to people working for the government. You can pay them a smaller presenter fee as they are double-dipping. Ironically, many of these folks have this feature built into their employment contracts. might double dip; (2) Promote the presenters books or products as marketing is valuable; (3) Buy their books in bulk and include them for drawings or to the first 100 registrants. Event coordinators will typically receive a discount of 25% off retail price when you purchase 10 or more books; (4) If 200 or more people to stay at the conference center’s lodging accommodations, a discount if often applied to the use of the exhibition hall - or even waived; (5) Comp the table space of nonprofit or start-up vendors if they will bring value to the event; (6) Require vendors to “donate” for keynote sessions prize drawings; (7) New or local presenters might agree to waive their fee for exposure as they seek to “break into” bigger circuit of presenting; (8) Selling breakout sessions to vendors; (9) During the off-season, the local chamber of commerce might offer incentives, such as dining or shopping coupons to attendees, to encourage hundreds of people to visit the community; (10) Turn attendees loose for lunch - works well if conference center is near restaurants. BOTTOM LINE is that SAFETY CONFERENCES ARE CASH GOLD MINES! There is no research to back that attending a school safety conference results in safer schools. Vendors are paying thousands of dollars to buy access to educators. A 2-day conference attended by 400 people can generate a net income of $100,000 or more. 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 This is episode 104.

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

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School safety is the default responsibility of individual schools. Surprisingly, there are no federal laws mandating school safety plans of school-based mental health services. Some, and not all, states require school safety plans. Individual school districts safety plans are inconsistent and with site-based management, most schools apply discretion to make safety policies fit the unique characteristics of the school – from the population served to the design of the building. In other words, schools are pretty much on their own to craft and ensure school safety protocols. KEY TERMS FOR ENTITIES RESPONSIBLE FOR SCHOOL SAFETY. “Local entity” includes local, regional or district boards, agencies or offices (such as local boards of education, district boards of trustees or school system committees). “School” includes administrators, principals and other designated officials at the school-level. “School safety entity” includes agencies, departments, task forces, committees, etc., which were created with the intent of addressing school safety matters (Education Commission of The States, 2019). Confusing, right? FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ROLE IN SCHOOL SAFETY. The federal government doesn’t mandate school safety plans. Beyond some token legislation of gun free zones, the federal government defaults the responsibility for maintaining safe schools to the states. The Feds saturate states and schools with recommendations to the point where the one-size-fits-all templates simply overwhelm the end-users. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has produced solid research and resources for school connectedness, a framework known to decrease school violence and increase student attendance and academic performance. A school is not obligated to follow the CDC’s school connectedness model. STATES ROLE IN SCHOOL SAFETY. Only 43 of 50 states mandate that schools have safety plans. Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania do not (1) require a school safety plan; (2) identify an entity responsible for creating the safety plan; (3) require that law enforcement be involved in creating the plan; (4) frequency with which the plan is required to be reviewed and updated; or (5) have a legal citation referencing school safety. Most states require drills, but then require a submitted checklist once a year to verify compliance. There are no onsite district safety assessments. DISTRICTS ROLE IN SCHOOL SAFETY. Districts are responsible for adopting school safety policies and practices. Wisconsin, for example, has 421 districts! Templates are available, but school safety plans, drills and exercises have a modicum of inter-school reliability due to the fact that most schools function under site-based management. In other words, principals are responsible for safety training procedures and safety drill design and fidelity in their buildings. Using Wisconsin as an example, that’s more than 2,200 school buildings – not including hundreds of community preschool partner sites. SAFETY GRANTS. In July, 2019, the US Department of Education made $65 million dollars available in competitive school safety grants. These grants are divided into 3 categories. Each grant is vaguely described and won’t evoke sustained change. Obtaining one of these grants is like winning the lottery – you can do more until the money is expended. None of these grants is for researching root causes of school violence or the Youth Code of Silence. 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 This is episode 103.

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

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On July 3, 2019, Dr. Perrodin presented School Safety in America: Rhetoric Vs. Reality on Wisconsin Public Television. During that presentation, he identified weaponized deepfakes as the biggest threat to student safety and that the incentive to use deepfakes to target students might be as simple as “The Liar’s Dividend.” WHAT IS THE LIAR’S DIVIDEND? A classic example of the liar’s dividend, which goes back to early reports that cigarettes were linked to cancer. In response, the tobacco industry relied on journalism’s honorable tendency to report “both sides of the story,” and went on to suggest there were legitimate doubts about the validity of that scientific research. WHAT IS THE DIVIDEND? In the May 17, 2019 article “The Liar’s Dividend is dangerous by journalists. Here’s How to Fight it” by Kelly McBride, she states: “This is a bigger problem than the Oxygen Theory, which argues that by debunking a falsehood, journalists give the claim a longer life. The Liar’s Dividend suggests that in addition to fueling the flames of falsehoods, the debunking efforts actually legitimize the debate over the veracity. This creates smoke and fans suspicions among at least some in the audience that there might well be something true about the claim. That’s the “dividend” paid to the perpetrator of the lie. WHY IS THE LIAR’S DIVIDEND THE TOP THREAT TO SCHOOLS? The Liar’s Dividend has always been around in the form of false accusations to dent the recipient’s reputation or incorporated into social media bullying. When a student, for example, posts intentional misinformation about another student, he or she is also planting doubts. “I don’t think Carol would say those things about her friends when she was at Terry’s party, but maybe she did?” ANYONE CAN BE TARGETED. We have a new player in the game. Avatar realism has been around since 2011 and progressively becomes more lifelike. One of these popular avatars is Miquela Sousa. She doesn’t exist. She’s a CGI image with a team of engineers, marketers and dreamers posting to her various social media feeds. Avatars of this nature have proven to be largely the tool of marketers. However, they also have been hacked. The damage won’t be delivered from avatars, but from the newest threat known as deepfakes. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN AVATAR AND A DEEPFAKE? A deepfake will target a person by falsely representing them while an avatar is a computer generated fake person. So, a deepfake image is you – looks like you, talks like you, but probably doesn’t convey an authentic message. Both present risks to student safety, but the deepfakes can tactically be used to target other students, teachers, school administrators or parents. ERODE TRUST. Students should learn to skeptical consumers of information, but deepfakes are going to pit student against student or student against teacher or everyone in education against the integrity of information. Did the teacher really say that, or was the video of his rant a deepfake generated with $250 software – and now the teacher in on leave as the school conducts an investigation. The Liar’s Dividend paid to the accuser. As schools spend more than $3 billion per year in school fortifications, the reality is that nothing is being done to prepare for deepfakes and once they arrive, we won’t be able to fortify ourselves to safety. What the solution? Nobody knows. However, the intelligence community predicts that deepfakes will infiltrate all levels of society by 2022 and most people won’t be able to identify a deepfake from an authentic recording. 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 This is episode 102.

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

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You can’t put a price tag on keeping schools safe – or can you? The $3 billion school safety industry is on a nonstop trajectory for both number of bills proposed and bills enacted to legislate, and sometimes fund, a staggering array of new mandates and unchecked block grants for school safety. CUSTOMER PERCEIVED VALUE. Customer perceived value (CPV) is the notion that the success of a product or service your business offers hinges on whether customers believe it can satisfy their wants and needs. Most of us can relate to this when purchasing a car. The salesperson will gauge what is important to us and tailor the pitch. If we are looking for a family vehicle, then safety and space are selling points. If it’s a commuter, then it’s fuel economy and ease to maneuver in traffic. WHEN THE PARENT IS THE CUSTOMER. Let’s be honest, school boards are entry-level political positions. Superintendents last 2-3 years in the role, and a teacher with 5 years in the same school is a seasoned veteran. The stats support all of that, but there’s something else going on. School boards and school leadership were entrusted to become informed and then to make the critical decisions about school operations. Today, the CPV model has changed. The parent is the customer and the school leaders and boards are dancing to their tune. When the perceived value is increased student safety, it’s practically unthinkable to assign a price tag to “peace of mind.” This isn’t a callous statement. But, with all the grant money being hurled at schools with minimal guidance and even less accountability, the vendors swoop with amazing presentations to sell schools unproven window dressings. And, it works as we are now convinced that (1) any device might contribute to making a school safer and (2) it’s savage to put a price limit on school safety. IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOLS. First, the current model of school safety spending isn’t sustainable. Just as we accept that there isn’t a price cap on school safety, couldn’t the argument be made to spend ten times what we are spending now for more bollards, armored busses, fences, guards – and, you know, the things they use at prisons? Second, school safety conferences have become overrun by fortification vendors. The list of speakers is FBI, CIA, FBI, and whatever. The scholars of the field don’t get to the stage as they know we can’t fortify our way to safety – and that message isn’t congruent with the $50,000 the conference is raking in from device-selling vendors and sponsors. The latest trend is to hand the breakout sessions over to the vendors. Instead of a breakout on learning about conducting focus groups with students, it’s now a presentation about window films to slow an intruder. What? And, once these practices are vetted, the weeds are difficult to remove and the lawn is just green and that’s fine, I suppose. ARE GOVERNMENT SAFETY GRANTS AN ATTEMPT TO MAINTAIN THE SOCIAL CONTRACT? The message from the heap of safety bills and plush grant funding is that to “solve” the problem of school safety, administrators, boards, teachers, parents and students must look external to the government. It’s called the transference dynamic and it was used as a political means to justify all kinds of spending to fortify the US from Russia in the early 1980s (read School of Errors – Rethinking School Safety in America).  To makes schools safer, we need to get the kids involved – and crack the Youth Code of Silence in which 81% of the time someone else, usually a peer, was aware ahead of time of a pending school 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. 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 This is episode 101.

 

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

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