COMBO's S.A.F.E. Blog

Article: Middle School Recruits Parents

This article just published in the Menifee section of the North County Times in California.  We love to hear the vision of Principal Resnick, "We're asking 870 parents to give one day each."

menifee article


School Safety Assessment Checklist by NCEF

S.A.F.E TEAM is promoting access to this great FREE resource at NCEF (National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities).

NCEF provides a free checklist that combines the nation's best school facility assessment measures into one online source for assessing the safety and security of school buildings and grounds. It includes over 400 measures covering school surroundings, school grounds, buildings and facilities, communications systems, building access control and surveillance, utility systems, mechanical systems, and emergency power. The checklist is updated frequently and may be used for planning and designing new facilities or assessing existing ones.

Is your school/district staying current on schools safety assessments?


Guest Blog: Where Did They Learn to Do That?

You may have been shocked at the behavior of two California second graders this past week as they experimented in the classroom with some unmentionable behaviors they picked up somewhere else.  The spokesman for the school made it clear that this behavior was not learned at school; the kids brought it with them, he said.

I’d have to agree.

Despite the efforts of some to provide activities at the school for younger and younger children, there is no doubt that parents have the responsibility and the opportunity to provide a wonderful start or a troublemaking presence to the teachers who interit their efforts.  Four or five years of television habits, video games, overheard arguments and neighborhood mischief come packaged with every pre-schooler and kindergartener.  Most come with years of barely supervised daycare experiences where all kinds of interesting vocabulary is shared among household with wildly different values.

Teens don’t learn about guns on campuses where they are prohibited.  They don’t learn about knives and street fighting during supervised play at school.  Teachers often comment about the amazing street knowledge of their youngest students...all learned before they ever darkened the door at school.

It is not enough to be at home with the children.  Someone needs to walk by the bedroom where they play and listen in on the vocabulary and subject of childhood games.  Someone needs to be willing to say no to the violent video games that they insist everyone has.  Someone needs to monitor the wrestling so be sure there is a lid on the level of pain inflicted by so called harmless activity.

It is not enough to monitor what they do.  Someone needs to seek out toys and games that build up the the little tyke’s knowledge and skills.  Someone needs to seek out friends that can have a positive impact on the future activities of the children.  Someone needs to provide good books and reading sessions where children can use their imagination instead of their eyeballs to envision what happened to the hero.

A child who has caring adults in his life who screens out the bad and encourages the good sends a child prepared to learn and prosper at school.  A child with parents who give choices and insist on personal responsibility goes to school willing to work and achieve.  Good parenting prevents peer pressure becasue it teaches kids to stand on their own two feet and make their own decisions.  That means parents must not give a child too much of a good thing.  If parents make all the decisions for their children and never let them exercise harmless choices, they will not raise responsible children who can resist peer pressure.

Schools have their faults.  Communities and media need to stop blaming the schools for what parents have pre-programmed into their own children.

Dr. Crain trains and consults with families, schools, and churches from his Connecting Fathers and Families ministry.  He can be reached at  Website:



Because Someone Asked “How can we share the vision for S.A.F.E. TEAM?”

Your disctrict/council/board can actively promote and strategize to implement the S.A.F.E. TEAM program a couple of ways:

1. Send each school's administration and parent leadership to  Utilize the technology and resources that are FREE to teach and train your team on our website.

While on our site, they can:

* Click SAFE Blog and view the Why S.A.F.E. TEAM? keynote delivered for a school counselor conference.  link

* Click S.A.F.E. Training to register for the FREE online training video (30 minutes in length): link

* Click About S.A.F.E. and learn the Value of S.A.F.E. TEAM within your school community: link

* Click About S.A.F.E. and learn how the SAFE TEAM program supports the 40 Developmental Assets: link

2. Read a short review of the S.A.F.E. TEAM Program: link

Two additional ways our staff can share about the program with your schools:

1. Conduct a "live" webinar, where each school can be at their own location and simply log in to our live presentation specific for your community.

2. If the state/region/disctrict/council/board would prefer to host a S.A.F.E. TEAM national presenter for a "live" training presentation, the costs associated for the training can be provided.


Guest Blog: School Security — What’s Your Role as a Teacher, Parent, or Student?

School Security -- What’s Your Role as a Teacher, Parent, or Student?

By: Bret Rachlin, Blogger for Wren School Security Blog

Everyone in the school has a role to play in helping create a safer, more secure learning environment. It takes the collaboration of the entire community to root out safety hazards, prevent security breaches and deter unwanted behavior successfully.

School-Wide Safety: Benefits Beyond Safer Hallways

Safe and secure schools benefit from more effective teaching and learning. Students are more focused, parents are more at-ease and staff has a more pleasant work environment. On the contrary, in less secure environments, staff and students may feel distracted and concerned with their personal safety.  Parents may also feel ill-at-ease and take an aggressive or frustrated approach to teachers and administrators. Below are some ideas about ways in which different groups in the school community can contribute to the school’s security program.


Often, teachers have closer, more trusted relationships with students than other adults. They also undertake responsibilities both inside and outside of the classroom – from chaperoning, to coaching to sponsoring - that give them more exposure to students’ world. For these reasons, teachers have a unique opportunity to become aware of and take steps to address security problems in schools.

Teachers can notice and address or report students who seem to be ostracized or suddenly withdrawn. This can be a sign that a student is the victim of bullying or in the middle of a problem that could result in violence. Teachers can approach the student to discuss the problem or report the suspicious behavior to the School Resource Officer (SRO) or administration so that the student can receive the counseling and support s/he needs. This is also an important step in identifying the source of problems.

Teachers may also be the first to notice safety and security breaches in and around the school. From propped fire doors, to burned-out light bulbs, to graffiti, fights, or a suspicious individual wandering the halls, teachers are in the thick of things and can address or report these precursors to security problems.


Students have everything to gain from taking a proactive role in securing their schools. In doing so, they create a more secure environment, give themselves the gift of personal safety, and foster a zero-tolerance environment in which problems such as bullying, gang violence, threats and girlfriend-on-boyfriend violence are not tolerated.

The most important thing students can do is not tolerate behavior or acts that endanger others. Students promote a culture of respect and can protect other students and themselves by confronting bullies or not participating or encouraging these acts. Students can also take the initiative by reporting incidences, even anonymously, when they see incidences and activities or hear threats that make them uncomfortable. In this way, they help administrators, SROs, and ultimately, themselves.


While parents may not be on campus each day, they can still go a long way to helping create a secure environment. Perhaps most importantly, parents can talk to their kids and be involved with the school. Parents who are aware of activities that are going on at school can support their kids in dealing with potential problems such as bullying, cyberbullying, or violence. They can also talk to their kids about the consequences associated with dangerous behaviors at school. Whether students are bullying other kids, smoking in the stairwell, sneaking off campus or driving recklessly in school zones, parents can help guide them to understand the importance of complying with safety and security policies of the school.

Parents can also help by being supportive of school administrators and working with them in a cooperative spirit. Whether that means following the visitor check-in policy to the letter or volunteering to chaperone or supervise after-hours school events, additional manpower and support will help the school better secure itself and protect kids.

Many of these activities can be taken with little effort. When everyone adopts a mindset of security, the entire school and community benefit.

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About the Author

Bret Rachlin Headshot

Bret Rachlin serves as director of marketing for Wren, providers of physical security solutions that create safe learning environments. Bret is a school safety advocate and active blogger for Wren School Security Blog, a popular resource and forum for principals, board members and security resource officers.  Rachlin can be reached at To learn more about Wren, visit


“How Safe is Your Campus” Survey Results

K-12 Safety Directors responded to Campus Safety Magazine's survey and here results regarding "Technology".  You may not know all about your campus safety planning, but you will want to learn more.

'How Safe Is Your Campus?' Survey Results: Technology


Do you know who you are and what you do?

How do you put in to words what your organization or company purpose or mission? Sure, we have our one-liner,

"S.A.F.E. TEAM is a school-based program that actively engages family and community members to support personal responsibility, safety and education by volunteering for one day all day on campus."

Sometimes that is all another person needs to hear and then they want to view your website.  Then there are those that want to see it in black and white.  For those of you who are out there, here's a quick summary of the S.A.F.E. TEAM program.  link Don't forget to checkout our Value of S.A.F.E. TEAM also. link


KS Safe and Prepared Schools Conference – Homeland Security

As an organization, we have many opportunities to connect with leaders around the country who guide and direct emergency management preparation.  Sit back for a few minutes and listen to Maj. Gen. Bunting with KS Department of Homeland Security.


How School Safety Can Improve Student Achievement

Checkout this blog from Campus Safety Magazine.  link

It's the little things that can make a big difference even during a challenging economy.  link


Finding great school safety/security blogs

Checkout Wren's School Security Blog link They have some excellent insight to the issues facing schools, families, students and staff.  No more for us to say about it.  Go check it out for yourself.