Don Shomette

People are the Prize


What Do You See Wednesday?

Check out the comments to read what others have seen!

Assess how well this school is using the three strategies of CPTED (‘septed’) or Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design:

1. Surveillance:  The ability to clearly see a potential threat
2.  Access Control: The ability to deny and delay access of unwanted persons into the school and/or school grounds
3.  Ownership: Sending a clear message that the space belongs to the school

Remember, look for the good as well as what needs to be improved.

So what do you see?



Giveaway — Classroom Bundle: Underage Possession of Alcohol

Use this fun and interactive classroom bundle to educate middle and high school students about the effects of alcohol and the consequences of underage possession of alcohol.

Free fun and interactive PowerPoint for teaching teens about the consequences of underage possession of alcohol.

TO RECEIVE THIS BUNDLE…follow this blog & leave a comment on this post.

If you’re already following us, just leave a comment.

Free fun and interactive PowerPoint for teaching teens about the consequences of underage possession of alcohol.

Free fun and interactive PowerPoint for teaching teens about the consequences of underage possession of alcohol.Included in the bundle:
1. PowerPoint
2. Detailed Lesson Plans
3. Handout: Student Quiz Sheet
4. Handout: Buy Now Activity
5. Handout: The ABC’s of Alcohol
6. Class Activity: Return to Sender
7. Class Evaluation
8. Class Certificate

Additional Classroom Information Available at the SRO TOOLBOX:
— Short video explaining how to use the PowerPoint–there is a timed competion included in the slides
— Suggested attention getter to use and a short video of what it looks like being played with students
— Short video explaining how to make the most of the attention getter
— Continued support in helping you deliver a great class!

Please Share This With…
— SRO’s
— Principals
— Safety Centers
— Health Teachers
— Counselors & Others

Leave a comment

I Knew You First

Young kids are the best about dreams.  Unlike grownups, they see the possibilities first and get excited about what could be.  We see the difficulties first and we focus on how hard it will be to accomplish the dream.

“I’m gonna be a basketball star.”
“But you’ll have to practice for hours every day.”

“I’m gonna be an astronaut and go to the moon.”
“But no one’s been to the moon in over forty years.”

Sound familiar?

If you have a student who tells you about their dreams—don’t shoot them down with the difficulties.  Let them dream.  In fact, encourage them to dream and get excited about it.  Grab a piece of paper and have them sign it.  Tell them, “When you go to the moon and you’re crazy famous, I’m gonna sell this on eBay and make a stack of cash.”

You’ll see a smile that’s impossible to forget.  Trust me.  I’ve seen it and I still have the autographs to prove it—a soon to be chief of police, world class golfer, and Olympic gold medalist to name just a few.  If you want to add a little pizzazz, keep a specially colored file folder in your office.  When the kids ask you what it is, tell them it’s your evidence folder.

“So I can prove to the world that I knew you first.”

If the dream never comes true—so be it.  That’s not the point.  The point is that you’re on their side and they know it.  So don’t focus on the difficulties, focus on the possibilities, focus on the person.


School Safety Alert!

A school attack occured this morning at a Nevada Middle School.  There is no word as of yet on victims and the police report that the suspect has been ‘neutralized’.  Here’s a link to one news source:

Until we know more information, consider doing the following as soon as possible:

    1. Reach out to Staff:
      Send out an email to your teachers and staff.  Give them a heads up of what is happening.  Tell them to look and listen for any indicators of danger in their classrooms such as spontaneous utterances, drawings, texts, or obsessive behavior such as constantly wanting to discuss the attack or repeated questions that reveal a deep and morbid fascination or obsession with the attack.
    2. Be highly visible:
      For the remainder of the week and especially during the high traffic times, be highly visible.  Reassure your students, teachers, parents, and potential attackers that you will not allow this to be repeated in your school.
    3. Encourage Communication:
      Encourage all students, staff, and parents to come forward with any concern—regardless of how minor it may seem!  Whether by email, classroom visits, or holding a special gathering—once again get the word out that communication is crucial.

If you have any questions or concerns or need a sounding board for a particular case, please feel free to call or email.

UPDATE: 3:15 pm EST.

  1. Sparks Middle School enrolls about 700 students in the 7th and 8th grades and is 90 miles east of Reno.
  2. Shooting started at 7:16 am local time.
  3. Shooting took place on campus, but not inside the buildiing.
  4. 2 dead and 2 injured.  One staff member was shot and killed and two students injured (one has been through surgery).  The shooter died of self-inflicted wounds.
  5. A student observed a classmate shoot his teacher, who spotted the gun and ran over to tell the student to put it down. It is believed that the teacher was trying to save lives when he was shot.  “My estimation is that he is a hero,” said Reno Deputy Chief of Police Tom Robinson.
  6. Police state no apparent motive yet and that the gunman acted alone.


Free PowerPoint: Indicators of Danger

indicator1Helping our teachers prevent a school attack.  This short free PowerPoint will educate school personnel how to spot indicators of danger.Those who are preparing for a school attack give off warning signals or indicators of danger.

Use this PowerPoint to teach a quick class after school or email it to your teachers and staff so they can view it individually.

It reviews the 4 ways that teachers can see, hear, smell, and feel indicators of danger that warn of an impending attack.

It’s 24 slides and takes about 15 minutes to watch–real simple.

How Can I Get A Copy?
1. Follow this blog.
2. Leave a comment on this post.

And as soon as we verify that you’re with a school or police department (please use your school/police email!) or someone who has attended one of our trainings, we’ll email you the presentation.  Sorry!  With the sensitive nature of the information shared in the PowerPoint, we have to be certain that it will only be used for good.

Please help us to get this to those who could help prevent a school attack by forwarding this blog post to any principals, teachers, or police officers you know.

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Explain Yourself

This weekend I was at a lacrosse game watching a group of eleven year old boys trying to do their best.  I don’t know if it was the weather or too much sugar for breakfast, but the boys were not at their best.  Slashing, pushing, hitting–it was a penalty fest.  The referee might as well have carried his flag in his hand instead of putting it back in his pocket between fouls.

It was a bad situation that never got better.

As the game dragged out, the referee literally stopped play to go to the bleachers and explain to the parents why he was calling so many fouls.  He had already done it with the boys, addressing each team separately, now it was the parents’ turn.  Gray haired with glasses, the ref was smiling when he explained what the boys were doing wrong.  The parents listened intently and never uttered a word.  When he was finished, he trotted back out to the field and it started all over again.

Tweeeeeeet! There goes the yellow flag…again.

Explain Yourself--3 good lessons for educators and School Resource Officers from a smart referee when dealing out consquences

So what’s the lesson learned?

1. Take a moment and explain your actions.
Nothing the referee said to the parents changed what was happening on the field.  The boys continued to rack up penalties and the game limped slowly on.  What changed was how the parents perceived the events and because of it, a lot of needless anger was avoided.  After all, the referee wasn’t being nitpicky—as he explained—but the boys were breaking all the rules.  When you become wrapped up in a bad situation and have to deal out consequences, remember that a lot of people are watching YOU.  They may not be directly involved, but they’re forming opinions about how you’re handling the situation.  So, take a moment and educate the fans in the bleachers.  It’s a lot better when they’re on your side.

2. Don’t fall back on, “I’m just doing my job.”
I hate that saying.  Everybody hates that saying.  We deal with and work for people who have feelings and a right to know why things are happening—especially bad things.  The referee could have shouted, “I’m just doing my job” and left it at that.  The next time you have to do something that may be unpopular, sequester yourself in your office with a piece of paper.  Write down exactly why you have to do it.  Nothing fancy, just five or six bullets.  If “I’m just doing my job” is the best reason, then don’t do it.  It’s not the right thing to do.

3. Be genuine.
Facing a tough situation where your actions will be under the scrutiny of others always goes a lot better when you have the right perspective.  The referee wasn’t angry, he didn’t yell about how terrible the kids were playing, he smiled the entire time he was explaining to the parents—which he didn’t have to do in the first place—and he earnestly tried to make a bad situation more understandable.  It was clear that he cared about the kids and about being a good referee.  He was genuine and that goes a long way in a tough situation.


Relevant, Realistic, Results

Parents can be a great help in making your school safer.  We just have to tell them how to do it.  Like most people, including you and me, parents like simple tasks that are relevant, realistic, and most important—produce results.  It’s a real motivation and energy suck to be given a task that is so big and squishy that you have no idea when you’ve accomplished it—if you even can.

What I mean is…

Don’t leave it at just asking your parents to help make your school safe. That’s way too big and in truth, impossible to accomplish. We can’t make our schools safe—just safer. Instead, tell your parents to do this one thing…Don’t leave it at just asking your parents to help make your school safe.  That’s way too big and in truth, impossible to accomplish.  We can’t make our schools safe—just safer.  Instead, tell your parents to do this one thing…

Tell someone immediately if their child is afraid for their safety or the safety of someone else.

That’s it.  The task is relevant, realistic, and will produce enormous results.  If every parent did just this one thing, we would greatly reduce violence in our schools and therefore make them safer—a lot safer.  At least one student has known about the impending attack in three quarters of previous school attacks.  That means we could have prevented attacks like Columbine if someone would have just come forward.  If parents know what to do, and their part to play is simple and will make a difference, I have faith they will help us out.

So let’s get them on our team!

I’ve included a short letter to parents.  Feel free to use it or to modify it any way that helps you!

Dear Parents,

I have one request and it’s an easy one.  Please tell me immediately if your child is afraid for their safety or the safety of someone else.  Other schools are suffering violence while students and parents have known about it before it has happened.  I don’t want that to happen here.  We can’t let that happen here, but it’s going to take all of us working together.

I’ve included a number (email, text, anonymous, etc) that you can call any time of the day.  This may seem like a small part to play, but it’s a critical one and one that will make a big difference in helping us to make our school safer.

Remember, it doesn’t matter how ‘small’ it seems.  If there’s even the slightest chance that someone will get hurt—I want to know about it.  And please don’t delay, but call immediately!

If you have any questions, I’m always available for you!