Don Shomette

People are the Prize


Sorry, I Can’t Tell You.

A victim is more than a person who has suffered a wrong. They’ve lost a part of themselves. It can be as little as a few dollars or as catastrophic as having a child, family member, friend, or loved one taken from them.

Never start off telling a victim who has just lost a part of themselves, “I’m sorry but I can’t tell you…” and then cite some rule or regulation that is made to protect you, the offender, or the institution that you work for. Do not lead with the need to conceal details from the victim because to share every detail would be wrong, violate confidentiality, or break some rule. The person has just been wronged, violated, and broken. Don’t give the impression that you’re going to do the same thing again.

Recently, I spoke to five different individuals trying to help a victim. One person tried to push me off to the following week, one refused to answer even simple questions, and three led with, “Sorry, I can’t tell you…”

This isn’t how we get things done and it’s not how we help victims.

In all things, take care of yourself. It serves no one any good if you get hurt emotionally, spiritually, or financially. Follow the rules, just don’t lead with the rules. Don’t make it seem as if your primary aim is to make sure some federal, state, department, or school rule is not violated.

Instead, lead with how you want to help and not how you’re going to protect someone or something other than the victim.

“I’m with you. I want to help you. Let’s make this better. We can do this.”

Begin with a message of hope and not one of immediate hindrance.




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Sensitive Topic: Is crisis drills and lockdowns really a sensitive topic or is it something else?

Too many teachers are not receiving the information they need to prevent and survive a crisis because it’s a ‘sensitive topic’.

I hear this a lot and I totally get it.

The thing is though, saving lives is not a sensitive topic. We have to be careful and always clarify that it’s not the topic that is sensitive, just how we present it and we could always do a better job.   


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Onboard: Equip Your Students to Play Their Part in Making Our Schools Safer

Most students want to help make their school safer, we just haven’t taken the time to give them a mechanism to do that. Here’s a quick, simple, and effective way to equip your students to play their part.

To help make it easier for you, I’ve included a script to use with your students and a note to send to their parents.

It will take less than ten minutes and I guarantee you will immediately make your school safer!



Perspective: Lt. Bobo and His Dogtag

“It could be worse” or “It’s not that bad” may be good things to stay to students. However, these are not easy to hear and accept when you’re facing a tough time or a difficult challenge. Instead, consider telling the student about another person who has experienced something even worse then what they’re going through. By giving the student a model, the student is much more likely to maintain the proper perspective.

In this video, I tell the story of Lt. Bobo and how this same technique helped me to maintain the right perspective in difficult times.


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Connection: The Single Best Way to Connect with Kids

To really connect with kids, it doesn’t take learning their music, being able to recite their latest slang words, wearing their type of clothes, or liking their heroes…and it certainly doesn’t take removing your tie. (If the tie thing is confusing, that’s exactly how I felt after I witnessed a very high ranking person in the DOJ remove his tie believing it was essential to connect with kids).

Watch today’s video as I share that story which left me feeling absolutely certain that we need to change our thinking when it comes to the best way to connect with kids.


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Little Things: Little Things can Become a Big Thing When Done with Real Sincerity

Sometimes we forget that little things, if done with real sincerity, can have a huge impact on a person’s life. I’m going to experience this first hand when I read on the wall of a restaurant a saying that causes me to flashback to a much younger time in my life.

The saying on the wall was something, just a little thing, which someone used to say to me (with true sincerity) and this flash back will teach me that in fact little things can last a life time.

P.S. If you don’t have a saying, motto, or some little nugget of wisdom to share with students, then check out some of my favorite ones below the video on my website.


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Snapped: Why School Attackers Are Not Like Those Who Riot

Bestselling author, Malcolm Gladwell, used the analogy of a person caught up in a riot to describe why students may be attacking our schools.

He asserted that like those in a riot who get carried away by the moment (as well as the crowd) and impulsively act in a manner that they never would any other time, so are students who are attacking our schools.

While it’s a very creative analogy, and something worth thinking about, it is unfortunately not the case with school attackers and decades of data disprove it this theory.

To watch the video…click here!