School Safety 101
CSI Publishing (2013)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD for Reader Views (12/13)
Mr. Matthews’ book “School Safety 101” is a book every school district needs to have, right down to their teachers. This well designed, informative book discusses how important school safety is which includes the districts all the way down to the students. He discusses the responsibilities of each person, staff and students in every school.
This book was well written, informative and easy to read. There is no excuse for any school not to follow this model. Even though some school districts put into place a safety plan, they often forget to keep updating the training or practicing throughout the school year.
In the thirteen chapters, topics range from Creating a Safety Culture, to Crisis Response Basics to the RAIN Response Model and much more.
The RAIN Response Model was developed for classroom teachers if there is a crisis or conflict in the classroom. This model can be taught with staff development training and then continually practiced with discussion or tabletop exercises. RAIN stands for Respond, Assess, Isolate and Notify. When a crisis occurs, rather than freezing one must take action. Students are looking at the teacher(s) for guidance and will respond to how the teacher(s) react. In this chapter on RAIN, the author provides excellent graphs of early warning signs, imminent warning signs and personality factors. These are guides and should not be used to stereotype individuals. One must pay particular attention to those who have been bullied or harassed by fellow students. The author also provides an excellent Crisis Response Decision Tree and it is so simple to put into place.
The ESCAPE Model is another excellent guide for survival, however, the author notes that each situation can be very different. This is a six step model: Exit when possible without presenting a target; Seek cover to protect yourself; Conceal yourself from offender(s); Assess all alternatives; Present a small target and Engage only as a last resort.
The information presented by this author is very detailed, easy to read and follow. Each school district should implement this in their schools. Each teacher should have training and practice this throughout the school year- no exceptions.