The Dark Side of School Safety Funding | Safety Doc Podcast #72 with Dr. David Perrodin

PODCAST-The marketing of school safety is making headlines. Bulletproof whiteboards and clipboards. Bulletproof wall panels. Bulletproof backpack inserts. Bullet “resistant” window film. Specialized locks. Training that turns the emergency lockdown, “shelter in place” response on its head. Money is again available for “school safety” grants and corporations see dollar signs. 


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Dr. Perrodin’s South Dakota Vacation | Drowning of Local Boy | David Interviewed About School Safety by New York Daily News | White House “Stop the Bleed” Campaign | and Prioritizing School Safety Initiatives.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – SCHOOLS ARE INVESTING IN WAR-ZONE TRAUMA KITS IN CASE A SHOOTING HAPPENS (The following article was written by Megan Cerullo on June 13, 2018). “School is a battlefield. Some schools are investing in war-zone trauma kits to stop gunshot victims from bleeding to death. The medical kits — which contain tourniquets, medicated gauze, coagulant to stop bleeding and other medical supplies, and generally cost between $40 and $100 — could help school staff and students treat the wounded before professional help arrives. The initiative has gained traction after a recent spate of school shootings, including a February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Smith High School in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people. Suffolk County school districts started stocking kits this year, accompanied by training in how to apply tourniquets and dress wounds. The Central Bucks, Chester County and Lower Merion school districts in Pennsylvania will also equip their schools with kits this fall, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. School safety experts say the medical kits — tested on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan — could be deployed for various uses, including sports injuries or science lab explosions, not just in the case of a school shooting. “Yes, tools like these might come into play in a school shooting, but they also may be relevant to a sports activity or other special event setting where someone is accidentally injured,” said Ken Trump, the president of National School Safety and Security Services. Dr. Matt Levy of Stop the Bleed, a movement dedicated to stopping preventable deaths, called the incidence of gun violence in schools an “unfortunate truth of modern society.” He said stocking the medical kits could play a part in keeping child gunshot victims alive, but that the kits alone are by no means a solution to preventing gun-related deaths in schools. “We have only minutes if someone is bleeding from an extremity to get them to a trauma center,” Levy told the Daily News. “If bystanders, who we call immediate responders, can render immediate aid before professional help arrives, that would help,” he said. “This doesn’t address the societal issues around shootings, we are just trying to get after the injuries we can do something about.” Levy added that kit sales have gone up since Stop the Bleed began selling them about a year ago. He said the organization’s site sees an uptick in traffic every time there is a high-profile shooting. Critics argue that efforts should instead be focused on finding ways to report threats in a timely manner. School safety expert David Perrodin said there was a push to bring supply kits into schools in 2007 after a gunman killed 32 people on Virginia Tech’s campus in Blacksburg, Va. “It took a long time to clear the building for first responders to come inside,” he said. “So there was a long delay in bringing supplies into the building.” First responders often arrive before school shooting situations end and are equipped with materials designed to stop victims from bleeding to death, he said. He claims marketers are behind the move to introduce the kits into schools as they compete for grant money dedicated to improving school safety nationwide. “I have never learned of a situation where this has been applied by anyone working in a school,” he said. “I don’t think this is realistic at all.” “EMS and fire have modified their response, and they get tactical gear and units into schools quicker than in the past. So this is just clever marketing,” he said. Instead, he thinks schools should invest resources in “severely underfunded” reporting systems. “We know in recent events that shooters had posted to social media and people were well aware of their intentions, but we didn’t have a reporting system that encouraged students to break their code of silence.”


In October, 2015, the White House launched its “Stop the Bleed” campaign – a special national initiative designed to provide bystanders with the tools and knowledge to stop life-threatening bleeding. It is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.


David explains five reasons why he is not an advocate of schools spending dollars on medical trauma kits. His primary reason is that staff and students should remain in secured areas until the building is “cleared” by law enforcement. Having staff rush into hallways to treat victims could place them in the direct path of an intruder. He also argues that threat detection research is underfunded and little is known on how to break the youth “code of silence” which prevents youth from bringing forward information that would prevent an attack.


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Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at

Article cited in this episode:  School War-Zone Trauma Kits – New York Daily News


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