School Security Trends for 2018

I believe there will almost assuredly be a significant increase in the number of schools requiring external school security assessments in 2018. I base this on several factors:

1. The majority of non-public schools and school districts completed external school security assessments within 24 months of the December 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School. For example, a survey of school superintendents conducted by the Maine Department of Education revealed that more than 70 percent of Maine school systems conducted school security assessments during that time frame.

2. Schools and school districts should have a security assessment conducted by an outside entity every three to five years because assessments become stale over time. As the outer limit of that time frame has now passed, most schools and districts have reached or are soon approaching the outer limits of this leading practice time frame.

3. Many school leaders are highly concerned about the scale and diversity of attack methods used in acts of extreme violence in the United States and Europe since 2013. Vehicle ramming attacks, mass casualty edged weapons assaults, acid splashing attacks and combination attacks where active shooter methods have been combined with other attack methods have caused many school leaders to realize that updated school security assessments are logical. This has resulted in an increase in school security assessment projects in 2017 that increased in intensity during the past several months.

These factors lead me to the conclusion that the dramatic increase in external school security assessments will continue and likely intensify in 2018.

A campus safety practitioner for more than 35 years as well as the author of 27 books on school safety and emergency preparedness, Michael Dorn serves as the executive director of Safe Havens International, the world’s largest school safety center.

This article originally appeared in the School Planning & Management January 2018 issue of Spaces4Learning.

About the Author

Michael Dorn serves as the executive director for Safe Havens International, Inc., an IRS-approved, nonprofit safety center. He has authored and co-authored more than 20 books on campus safety. He can be reached through the Safe Havens website at