MADISON, WI- A Wisconson author is gaining national attention for his new book which addresses school safety plans and how communities can thank past fortifications and drills to develop more holistic security programs.
David Perrodin, a former firefighter and school administrator from Marathon, Wisconsin has spent the last three years translating his expertise and years of experience into his new book, 'School of Errors: Rethinking School Safety in America".
“The book is definitely a call to action to say we can’t fortify our way to safety. We’ve been spending 3 billion dollars a year on school safety”
In the book, Perrodin explains how school safety isn't regulated by the federal government but rather defaulted to each state. In Wisconsin alone, over $100,000,000 in school safety grants have been issued in the past few years, it's what districts are doing with that money that Perrodin says isn't necessarily effective.
“The question, are we safer? The answer is no, we’re still having the same frequency of school shootings, w’re seeing violence in society, a pattern that isn’t slowing down. We’re also seeing this related increase of school safety bills.”
According to his research, since 2013, about 400 school safety bills have been introduced every year. Only about 80 of those are enacted.
“In 2019, we are projected to go past 500 proposed bills for school safety and more than 100 bills approved, which would be a record. So we’re going down this path of spending and spending for fortification and its not getting us anywhere”
In his book, Perrodin breaks down his experience as a safety consultant and what things he's seen actually work. He also dives into major events that safety officials can learn from.
"Intense research, contacting the best of the best around the world to learn not only about school safety but I worked with the city of New York, the planning department," says Perrodin, "How did they respond to 9/11. I broke down those processes of how systems develop during a crisis situation”
The book suggests holistic approaches like funding research for student focus groups where students can have discussions about ways to make their schools safer, alongside exercises that promote situational awareness.
“For school districts, contact your insurance carrier and have them come to a safety assessment. They are not trying to sell you anything, they have the best interest because they are the ones liable for your payout”
The book is available on amazon and on bookshelves across the country.