Book Review                                                    Page 44


School Safety 101

Preparing Schools and Protecting Students 

by John Matthews, CSI Publishing, Ovilla, Texas, 2013, 207 pp., $19.95 softcover


John Matthews, executive director of the Community Safety Institute in Ovilla, Texas, has updated School Safety 101: Preparing Schools and Protecting Students (3rd edition) just in time for school system leaders to develop and maintain a culture of safety in each of their schools. His organization works with school districts and other government bodies, especially the coordinators of safe and drug-free schools and directors of emergency management services, on comprehensive school crisis plans.

While his book presents familiar advice in this third edition, Matthews has added an escape crisis-response model in the aftermath of the mass tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. School Safety 101 also has an updated chapter on the crisis response basics, which includes team composition, common terminology, planning for specific types of crisis and communications.

Further, Matthews’s contributions on bullying and harassment detail how to prevent, intervene and assess the levels, similar to assessing the four types of threats and how to respond to each. He provides step-by-step directions for creating school safety teams, as well as information about how best to train staff, students, parents and volunteers. 

Reviewed by Lylia King, principal, Mary Jo Sheppard Elementary School, Mansfield, Texas


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