Don Shomette

People are the Prize

Be A Buffalo!

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In Colorado, the worst winter storms always come from the west over the Rockies. When the cows in Colorado see the storm, they will turn east and run as fast as they can away from the storm. Not being overly quick or nimble, they are easily caught by the storm and since they are running in the same direction, the ice and snow continues to pound them for a long time—longer than it would have had they just stayed put and taken it.

The buffaloes are different.

When they see the storm, they will run west, face first into the storm. While they are still pounded by the ice and snow, theirs is a shorter pounding and all things being equal—a much smarter way to weather a storm.

How cool is this?

What a valuable lesson in life as well as threat assessment. That’s right, as crazy as it sounds, threat assessment.

When your school is faced with a threat, don’t just stand there and let it pummel you. And never ever run with it—it will only prolong your misery and add immensely to your chances of being hurt. Instead, turn face first into it. Keep your eyes open, find the facts, and get through it. The single best way of getting through it is to find the switch that is fueling the unwanted behavior and turn it off. Meet the need of the student who poses the threat and that’s the best way to quiet the storm.

Sometimes you can’t stop a storm, but you can always decide how you will respond to it. So, be a buffalo…if nothing else, it’s better than being a cow.


Print out a picture of a buffalo and put it in your office. Let it remind you of the best way to face storms as well as serve as a ‘talking’ point with students and staff. When they ask you, “Why do you have a picture of a buffalo?” You can educate them and tell them the benefits of being a buffalo in a storm.

Or, you can have some fun and say, “Because I’m not a cow.”

What do you think?

Author: Don Shomette

Don Shomette is a trainer, speaker, consultant, and owner of People are the Prize, a violence prevention company that helps people to prevent and survive a school attack. He has spent a lifetime working with police officers and principals and is consistently evaluated by those who attend his trainings as one of the best instructors ever. Don challenges, entertains, and helps school personnel to think of preventing violence in a new and positive way.

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