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Ostrich Syndrome

The heavy reality is that many schools are far behind the eight ball when it comes to providing a comprehensive safety and security protocol for our children. Even with over 700 active shooter events in 2021 there is still the misconception that it will not happen to them. School violence is at an all time high in this country with many security experts predicting that these numbers will increase in the years to come.

There is an ancient Roman myth that the Ostrich will bury its head in the sand when faced with a threat. The basis of the myth is that it's better not see the threat than it is to confront it. Lucky for the Ostrich with that the probability for suffocation is high that this myth is just that, a myth. However, there is an alarming number of schools that are placing bandaids on the issues and not allocating the resources to actually fix the problem. I call this the “Ostrich Syndrome”. If we do not see it, it won’t hurt us, right?

I would like to first point out that the resolution to this problem starts much higher than at school level. It’s not that the schools do not want to protect the students. Schools are allocated only a certain amount of money per year. This money has to be used for study materials, bussing, technology, food, sports, etc. From the Federal Government down there has to be a higher priority placed on funding real school safety and security initiatives. The first challenge is making security a top line budget item for every school in the country.

Below are a few examples of what tax payers were funding in 2020:


  • $1.3 million to study whether people will eat ground-up bugs;

  • $36 million to ask why stress makes peoples’ hair turn gray;

  • $1.47 million to persuade Eastern Mediterranean youth to stop smoking hookah;

  • $6.97 million of cancer research money to create a “smart toilette”;

  • $1.24 million to reduce the amount of time adults spend watching TV;


The above is just a pin drop in the pool of wasteful spending by our government each and every year. This is money that could be spent protecting our children. The time has come that school safety and security becomes a top line item at our nations schools.


Let’s pause here for a moment and place the costs aside. I am discovering other major holes in our school safety and security protocols that have very little impact on budgets. Training for an active shooter event should be a set exercise for every school nationwide. I am still running into schools that have limited training for their staff and students, staff is not 100% aware of their active shooter response protocol, states that do not mandate a standardized process for their schools active shooter response protocol and the worst one of all, NO ACTIVE SHOOTER PROTOCOL IN PLACE.


I can go on and on about the need for multi level security protocol. We could dig into redundancy and how one is none and two is one. There could be a debate on if schools are taking the correct course of action when they identify a potential threat (i.e. a student with a history) in the school. However the real issue is that we need parents to be more involved with their kids schools. Do not be afraid to go in and ask about the schools active shooter response protocol. Ask how they are keeping your kids safe. Find our how often they run active shooter drills. Get a report on the results (called a white wash) from the active shooter exercises the school has conducted. I know we are all busy and do not want to be bothered by yet another school meeting but it has come to a point where parents need to drive change.


Contact us if you would like to learn about ways to drive change in your local schools. Our team would like to demo new technology for you that cuts active shooter response time from minutes to seconds. We can also help you find training that fits your schools needs. We are also happy to give you some basic guidance on how to be more involved with your schools security and what to look for. Reach out by emailing us at jcross@asralertsystems.com or jon@blackopstacticalconsulting.com





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