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Michael Dorn Safe Havens International ©January 2, 2006

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1 Michael Dorn Safe Havens International ©January 2, 2006
Student Coordinated Bullying Site Survey Tutorial Program – Student Version Michael Dorn Safe Havens International ©January 2, 2006

2 Free Tutorial Program This program is intended for use by students interested in helping to reduce problems with bullying in their schools and is provided at no cost by Safe Havens International Inc. You are free to download and distribute this tutorial as long as you do not charge a fee for the program or modify the slides in any way. If you have any questions regarding the proper and lawful use of this program, please contact Michael Dorn, Executive Director of Safe Havens International Inc., at In addition, by viewing this slide show you agree to waive Safe Havens International and its staff of any liability in respect to the information contained herein or any actions arising from it’s use.

3 The Model for Safe School Planning
A proper school safety plan addresses each of the four phases of emergency management in specific and distinct written form: Prevention and mitigation Preparedness Response Recovery This tutorial will address one aspect of the prevention and mitigation phase. For more information on the other three phases of emergency management, view the other free tutorial programs available at:

4 Prevention and Mitigation
The first section of the written school safety plan is the prevention and mitigation plan. This plan includes the measures used by school and community officials to reduce the chances that a crisis will occur in a school and to minimize the negative impact of any events that cannot be prevented. Before we teach you how to conduct a student bullying site survey, we will provide you with a brief explanation of prevention and mitigation concepts. The process you will learn will help your school enhance both prevention and mitigation efforts focused on the problem of bullying.

5 Prevention Prevention efforts involve those measures that are designed to prevent crime, violence, disruption, accidents and crisis situations. Prevention has been the traditional approach used by school officials to reduce injury, death and damage to property at schools, school events and during school related transportation. There always has been and always will be a need for schools and community partners to stress prevention.

6 Examples of Prevention Measures
Bullying prevention programs School Resource Officer (SRO) programs Medical screening of school athletes Metal detectors Requiring students to wear photo identification cards Annual fire inspections of schools Student conduct policies Safety training for staff Awareness programs for students

7 Mitigation Similar to but still different from prevention, mitigation involves doing things to minimize the negative impact of any crisis that simply cannot be prevented (such as a tornado striking a school) or that occurs in spite of prevention measures. The traditional definition used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) emphasizes mitigation efforts for major disasters, but for schools, less catastrophic events like bullying must be considered as well because they can seriously interfere with the operation of a school. “Any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to life and property from a hazard event.” (FEMA definition from Practical Information on Crisis Planning – A Guide for Schools and Communities – United States Department of Education - May, 2003)

8 Examples of Mitigation Measures for Schools
Anchoring bookshelves to prevent injury during an earthquake Using protective laminate glass when building a school to prevent injury in the event of high winds or an explosion Developing and practicing effective lockdowns Appropriate bullying intervention policies and practices

9 The weakest link in school safety is the strongest point in the safety of the school
Here we see a school where most of the awning support posts have been designed so they cannot easily be climbed to get onto the roof. Unfortunately, two posts were constructed in a manner that makes them easy to climb, negating the security of the other posts. Someone could easily climb onto the roof and fall to their death.

10 Safety features only work when people use them
Leaving this gate unlocked could result in a child entering the water and drowning. Unfortunately, many safety incidents occur at schools when safety equipment is not properly utilized.

11 School and local public safety officials should conduct an annual tactical site survey to find and correct safety hazards Here are a few examples of the types of people who should participate in the annual tactical site survey: School administrator School facilities personnel Law enforcement officer Fire service personnel Public health official Emergency management official Mental health practitioner

12 The Bullying Site Survey
The bullying site survey is only one part of an effective bullying program. Surveys of students, staff and parents are another part of the assessment process. A third type of assessment is the evaluation of reported bullying incidents. By using surveys, evaluating incident data and conducting an annual bullying site survey, the severity, locations and times of bullying incidents that are occurring can be more accurately identified. Until an accurate assessment is made using all three methods, bullying prevention measures will be less effective. Survey forms can be downloaded from the Free Resources section at

13 What is a tactical site survey?
The tactical site survey is a process where a multidisciplinary team conducts a thorough assessment and evaluation of the school building and surrounding grounds. All important features that might have a bearing on the safety of the school or the handling of a crisis at or near the school are considered and noted. As a non profit safety center, Safe Havens teaches school and local community officials how to coordinate tactical site surveys that can help to reduce problems like bullying, accidents and vandalism while helping to create a more inviting and effective learning environment.

14 What you are being trained to help conduct:
The student bullying site survey is a scaled down and focused version of the tactical site survey designed to gather input based on the perspectives of informed students from the school facility. This process is guided by a school staff member who has also completed our free tutorial training or one of our more detailed formal training programs. This student centered survey process will enhance the traditional tactical site survey process since students will always spot areas of concern that are missed by adults because of different points of view.

15 Focus on bullying issues, but note and report any other potential safety hazards you find
Your team should remain focused on the issue of bullying, but your school’s principal will also be interested in any other potential safety hazards you find. If you think something you notice is dangerous, please note it on the survey form.

16 Proactive Emphasis The bullying site surveys should be viewed as a proactive prevention and mitigation process rather than a pass/fail test for your school. Finding problems is good because you will be helping to improve your school. Safe Havens staff members have NEVER toured a school without finding hazards. It is highly unlikely that you will not find ways to improve your school with this process. The important thing is that you help your school become a safer place.

17 How? Led by a staff member, your team should tour the school and note findings on the Safe Havens Bullying Site Survey checklist. You can find the checklist on the Safe Havens web site in the free resources section:

18 Now let’s get started! We will use a series of slides and photographs from schools around the country to show you how to spot areas where bullying is more likely to take place, and this will help you learn how to improve the climate of your school.

19 Whether the safety issue is bullying or the prevention of a terrorist attack,
incorporating a culture of safety into the daily routine of school employees and students is critical.

20 In a traditional tactical site survey, the team looks for any type of safety hazard, like the one shown above. In the bullying site survey, the team is focused on the specific problem of bullying. Here, tables and chairs blocking emergency exits are a result of careless placement, but can be easily fixed.

21 Some things you see at schools pose traditional safety hazards while also increasing the potential for bullying on campus. The cage around these vending machines at a Texas high school make it possible for someone to gain access to the roof, while also creating a subtle tone of fear at the school conducive to bullying. Moving the machines indoors may alleviate both problems.

22 Simple things can set a negative tone for a school
Simple things can set a negative tone for a school. The principal at this Indiana high school did not know that shoes hanging from power lines indicate that drugs are sold at or near the school. Leaving the shoes demonstrates to his students that he either does not know or does not care about the drug problem. This creates a lack of confidence in his ability to protect students, resulting in increased fear on the part of some students and increased aggression by others.

23 Items like this broken table may not only create a safety hazard, but also send a message that safety is not important at the school. Help your principal identify areas that need to be cleaned up to improve the atmosphere of the school and you will help reduce problems with bullying.

24 Here is another example of trash that creates a negative atmosphere while also
creating a safety hazard – do you think that this is being used for anything?

25 During the site survey, be alert to classrooms filled with safety hazards. This may be an indication that the room is not properly supervised. This chemistry lab is filled with safety hazards, such as the cart blocking three pieces of safety equipment.

26 This fire extinguisher is located in a room that is typically left unlocked, and it has been repeatedly discharged. This is a clear sign of an area that should be kept locked. Students are sometimes brutally bullied in poorly supervised areas like this one.

27 The vandalism of this heating unit took a considerable amount of time, indicating a lack of proper supervision. Remember – if students can damage things, they can also damage other students.

28 This fire extinguisher cabinet provides a clue that this gymnasium is not being properly supervised.

29 Another clue that supervision is lacking and that student safety is not a priority.

30 Security cameras can be beneficial when used properly
Security cameras can be beneficial when used properly. Cameras should be used to help supervise hard to view areas and known trouble spots. The primary focus should be on enhancing natural surveillance of areas first, with cameras used to supplement adult supervision of students.

31 Supervision of Students & Natural Surveillance
Proper supervision of students is a critical part of bullying reduction. Most instances of children being bullied at school take place when students are not being properly supervised. Natural surveillance is the ability for people to see (and in some cases to hear) what is going on in a particular place or area without the use of security cameras. Natural surveillance is usually a more powerful deterrent than a security camera and a combination of good natural surveillance and properly placed security cameras can be very effective in reducing opportunities for students to bully others.

32 This security mirror has been placed on the wall to help library staff supervise the area they cannot see behind the bookshelves. A better solution is to turn the bookshelves so the librarian can see between the stacks. The school may have to wait until the carpet is replaced to make this change as the bookshelves will leave indentations in the carpet.

33 Security of spaces is important in reducing the opportunity for bullying. Areas in the school not occupied by an adult should always be locked.

34 The office window in this Montana shop classroom has been covered up by a teacher who now cannot properly supervise students when he is in the office.

35 This is the proper way to block windows in a school to minimize distractions while allowing for good natural surveillance

36 Here is another example of how easy it can be to inadvertently block natural surveillance. These bookshelves are blocking a set of large picture windows that could be used to monitor students inside and outside the library.

37 This is an example of good natural visual and audio surveillance
This is an example of good natural visual and audio surveillance. These two plate glass windows allow cafeteria staff to see what is going on in the dining area, and there is a 2 inch gap in the middle so that staff can also hear what is going on either side of the glass wall.

38 The natural surveillance in this interior school courtyard could be improved significantly by adding small windows to the offices on the far wall.

39 Natural surveillance could be improved in this area by trimming the bushes to eliminate the hidden areas they create next to the wall.

40 Trimming away undergrowth as seen here can open up wooded areas on and near campuses while helping to eliminate private areas where students are difficult to supervise.

41 Check to see if staff can easily see the monitors of student computers
Check to see if staff can easily see the monitors of student computers. Cyber bullying can occur in school as well as away from campus.

42 Territoriality Another important concept is called territoriality. This means finding ways to bond students, school employees and parents to the school. Building pride in the school helps to reduce problems like vandalism and bullying.

43 The principal at Clark High School in Las Vegas, Nevada reduced crime, bullying and raised test scores by improving the school’s climate. One of the first things he did was to have students paint numerous murals around the campus.

44 Here is how another Las Vegas principal builds pride in his school.

45 Murals can connect students to the school and help to reduce bullying.

46 Does your school work to incorporate students of different nationalities?

47 A new student does not have to speak fluent English to feel welcome at this middle school in a city near the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

48 While creating a positive environment is important, fire code requirements must still be met. This Nevada elementary school has the right idea, but is in clear violation of the state fire code.

49 Here is another example of the type of positive climate schools should try to

50 Here is an example of how student murals can be used to dress up old and dreary looking student lockers.

51 Jones County, North Carolina schools all have signs with positive and motivational messages to help create a warm and caring climate. While murals and signs alone will not reduce bullying, they can help to support other measures to create a more comprehensive and effective bulling reduction strategy. The following are a few examples of the types of signs used in Jones County:



54 This middle school in Helena, Montana uses a giant teddy bear in an antique wheelchair to make students feel welcome.

55 You are now ready to help!
Now you know the basics of what to look for in your school. In just a few hours, you and your team can tour your school, fill out the bullying site survey checklist available on the Safe Havens web site listed below and help your principal make your school safer. When combined with other bullying prevention measures, the bullying site survey can make a significant difference in your school. Please let us know if you have any questions via at or or by using our contact form: We welcome any feedback you have on this or any of our free web tutorials available on our resources page:

56 We thank you for your valuable assistance in making school a safer place!

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