Keys To Safer
Keys To Safer

Detection and Prevention of School Violence

Providing Information Services to Over 135,000 Subscribers in the USA and Overseas...

February 2006 Edition

Offices in: USA, Canada, Europe & Australia

Safety Bulletin: February 2006

Schools in Crisis

student suicides


Monthly Safety Bulletin Providing information to Promote safe Schools, Universities and organizations


1. Student Suicide

SuicideJanuary 13, 2006: A 15-year old student was killed at an Orlando area Middle School by a member of the Seminole County SWAT team.  For more details read the article Suicide by Cop?. Less news worthy perhaps were several others across the US and internationally who died by their own hands. Within the past few weeks, student suicides have been reported in Montana, Ohio, Massachusetts, and over seas in Great Britain, the Philippines, and many other locations. Keys has confirmed  others that were deliberately not reported as a matter of policy. Read the full article at Student Suicide 2006.



2. School Violence Continues to Grow


School Violence ContinuesSince the Safety Bulletin of January 2006 the following violent acts at schools have been reported (See Violence Snapshot 2006):

  • Feb 16, 2006 Albany, NY  A fight broke out at Albany High School that sent one student to the ER for stitches.  "They're gonna need to start kicking people out of school  'cause it's crazy. There's no control over anyone," said the student who was injured during the fight.

  • Feb 13, 2006 Buffalo, NY Last week fights in two different schools resulted in seven suspensions--all were female. This represents a growing trend around the country. As of this date, Buffalo schools have suspended 577 girls for fighting, assault or physical contact. This is about 6 every school day.

  • Feb 10, 2006 Indianapolis, IN An IPS Police Officer confronted an intruder at a pep rally. After a brief struggle the teen got into a car and attempted to run down the officer who fired several shots into the car in self defense. A 17 year-old student surrendered to police a few hours later.

  • Feb 16, 2006 Vernal, UT Police arrested a student who was planning a major assault against teachers and fellow students. Police found detailed threats in a chat room. The student admitted the plans were real. Police said the most disturbing thing is the number of other students who knew about the plot over a month but never came forward or talked to anyone else.

The staff at Keys is constantly searching news sources for violent incidents related to schools; however, not all are reported. We need your help. If you know of such an incident please send it to along with references when possible. The more we know the better prepared we can be.


Let Keys help you with violence prevention programs. If you are not sure of your state of readiness, contact Keys to learn more about Assessing the Potentially Dangerous Student, Crisis Planning or First Responders Crisis Preparedness, First Responders Coordination In-Service.




3. Alert: The Choking Game


Articles This Month

- Student Suicide:

 How critical is it?

- School Violence Continues...

- Alert:  The Choking Game 

- School Bus Incidents...

- Lawsuit:  500K - Harassment
     Dr. Douvanis - Learn more

- Tips for Students:  

When Thinking of Suicide

- Crisis/Emergency Planning

- Tip for Parents:       What if my

 child is thinking of Suicide

- Wisdom in a One Liners

- Tip for Teachers:

You are important!

- Up Coming Training Calendar.
- What Others say about Keys
- Co-Sponsor a Training in your
area & obtain a FREE Slot

- Parent's Drug Policy

Parent's personal Policy

- Contact Information

- Info about Keys
- Past Newsletter Issues
- Subscribe
- Change Email
- Submit Articles
- Advertise: New This Year!

Addition Links
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- Articles
- Map of School Shootings
- Search our Site
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- FREE Services
- Download a Catalog (pdf)
- Contact Us

Lock Out Violence Everyday with Keys To Safer


The death was first ruled a suicide. After the Middle School student's funeral services, his friends starting talking to parents, teachers and each other. It was soon learned that this was not a suicide but an accident. The youngster was playing a new craze called the Choking Game.   It is usually  done  in  small groups with kids taking turns causing each other to pass out by manually restricting blood flow to the brain. They hold each others necks putting pressure on the carotid arteries until the subject starts to faint. Then, the pressure is released and the subject experiences a "high" without the use of drugs as blood rushes back into the brain. When alone, kids use belts, ties, shoe laces and other objects. The danger is apparent to adults. The subject passes out but the pressure is not released because of the knot used or whatever. The result is death that is often ruled a suicide because coroners are not yet aware of this fad.


As with other forms of abuse, the prevention is for adults to observe and hear what children say. Listen for names like Space Monkey, Fainting, Pass Out Game, Flatliner, Space Cowboy or Hawaiian High. There are probably many others. Look for bruises on the neck, red eyes or belts left hanging in unusual places. 


How serious is it? As many as 50 school age kids have died from this game this school year already.


If this might be a problem in your school or there are other abuse issues present, contact Keys via email for immediate help.  



4. School Bus Incidents Make News


Bus Incidents include:

  • Bus Driver slapping StudentJohnson County, IN A bus driver is caught on tape slapping a passenger who is a special needs student.

  • Torrence, CA A 9-year old student brought a gun on his school bus. I showing it off, the gun discharged striking another student. The injuries were not life threatening.

  • Temple Hills, MD A fight broke out on a bus carrying students home. When the driver pulled over, several students fled the bus and one of them started shooting at the bus. The bus was hit but none of the students onboard.

  • Philadelphia, PA The bus driver was distracted by a fight that broke out on the bus causing the bus to go out of control. One adult and two students were taken the hospital for minor injuries.

  • Fort Morgan, CO The bus driver thought one of the Kindergarteners on her bus had popped a balloon. When she returned to the bus garage, she found a bullet hole in the back door and through two seats. None of the kids were injured. A 19  year-old has been arrested.

  • Streator, IL A bus carrying 15 members of the high school girls basketball team was struck head-on by a truck. The truck driver died of injuries sustained; the girls were taken the hospital as a precaution.

  • Nolanville, TX A nine year-old girl was sexually assaulted at her school bus stop. It was second such assault of a young girl at the same bus stop within 3 months.

  • (name withheld) A boy and girl engaged in a sex act on the bus. The bus driver reported not knowing anything about it. The incident only came to light after a fight on the bus ended with the students bringing up the sex issue. A number of other students witnessed the act but said nothing.

How would your Bus Drivers react? Have they received adequate training on how to handle an emergency? a weapon? a fight? suspicious behavior? hijacking?  (See Article on Bus Violence )


If your not certain about the ability of your school bus drivers to respond appropriately, Contact Keys today for information on Bus Driver Training - dealing with a Hostile Environment.




5. School Lawsuit

School LawsuitsA federal jury in Miami has ordered the Broward County School Board to pay a school custodian $500,000 for emotional suffering caused by sexual harassment on the job. The plaintiff's attorney said the verdict for his client was noteworthy because she did not claim she had suffered financial harm as a result of the harassment. "For a jury to award half a million dollars for emotional distress means they evaluated the evidence as reflecting severe and serious harassment and discrimination," he said.

Budget Consultants now routinely include about 5% of an organization's budget as projected legal costs. This based on assumptions that the larger the budget, the more suits will be filed. One legal analyst wrote that recurring costs are more important than winning or losing. Even a lawsuit that is won will carry significant costs with it.

Walk the Walk - Prevent the Liability

Interactive Video

Click to learn more

How can schools avoid such tremendous costs?  The answer is very simple, avoid lawsuits. While this seems simplistic, there are some simple principles for staying out of court. "Walk the Walk" is an interactive computer program that combines award winning broadcast quality video with fully interactive software training modules. The staff members does not just read about a situation but actually sees it played out. He or she is then offered choices. This program has been effectively used for training staff on how to avoid situations that lead to legal actions.

If you still have questions about the current legal environment, meet one of the Newest Members of Keys Multi-Discipline Team.

Gus Douvanis, J.D., Ed.D.


Dr. Douvanis is a Nationally Renowned speaker and presenter on many Legal issues impacting schools and other youth oriented organizations.  He is a Professor of Educational Leadership and Law at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton Georgia, where he also serves as University Advisor for Legal Services and University Ethics Officer. 


He speaks on and teaches courses in;

  • School Law and Ethics,

  • Counselors and School Social Workers and the Law,

  • Special Education Law, and

  • Advanced Law and Ethics

Keys To Safer can provide Counter Bullying for Administrators through the nationally used program Bullying Stops When Respect Begins that deals with Bullying and Cyber-bullying and other services targeting schools needs in this environment. Contact Keys today to learn how you can protect your school from these costly lawsuits.

Be Assertive but Not Aggessive!  Join together to make a difference.Top


6. Tips for Students:  What You Can Do When You Are Hurting

  1. Know that you can and will get through this.

  2. Give yourself some time. Wait at least 24 hours and talk with a trusted adult before doing anything serious.

  3. You will not feel relief by dying. In fact, you will not feel anything ever again and that's sad.

  4. There are people who will not believe you nor understand that you are serious about suicide, but there are more who will believe, understand and listen. Talk to them.

    • Go to or call :

      • 1-800-SUICIDE in the U.S.

      • Kids Help Phone (Canada) 1-800-668-6868

    • Teenagers, call Covenant House Nine-Line, 1-800-999-9999

    • Look in the front of your phone book for a crisis line.

    • Carefully choose a mature, responsible adult to talk to.

  5. Suicidal feelings are traumatic. Even after they pass, seek counseling to help you understand where they came from and how to respond to them next time.

If you know someone else who is thinking about or talking about suicide, give them this list and tell a responsible adult. It is not "narcing", it is saving their life.


  To learn more about responsible students go to Kids are the Keys.



7. Crisis Planning


Keys' Emergency Response Model - click to learn more.When suicide, teacher deaths, bus accidents or an international terrorist attack happens at your school, what happens in the first 2-5 minutes will set the scene for how the crisis or emergency will progress and how it will affect the members of your school. Planning, Practice and Preparation are the keys to effectively mitigating the effects of the crisis. While there are many elements of the complete process, table top drills are simple, cost effective and revealing.


EXAMPLE: As a member of your District Crisis/Emergency Response Team, walk into one of your schools' office and let them know this is a drill. Then tell them that a truck has run off the highway and crashed into the building. It obstructs one major exit and has compromised the structural integrity of the building. Then spend about 5 minutes going through "what would you do?" with the Key School Staff. If the principal is out of the office, do not reschedule, because accidents will not, deal with the second in charge like Asst. Principal or designee.

This may seem trivial but it may surprise you at the answers you get. You will need a check-list to make sure that all contingencies are considered. For a full understanding of the process look at a International model  Emergency Response/Crisis Response Planning. Contact Keys for help in learning how to set up effective Table Top, Command Post and Full Crisis Plan Exercises.





8. Tip of the Month for Parents: What if My Child is Thinking of Suicide?

  1. Pay attention to your child. Deliberately watch for signs of things that make them happy or sad.

  2. What if my child is thinking of suicideListen to them. If you are too busy at the moment, make an appointment for a specific time when you will listen.

  3. Reassure them. Even when you are not sure everything is OK, act as if it is with your children.

  4. Do not share adult stressors with children. You can handle it; they may not.

  5. Take their problems seriously; they do!

  6. 50 years from now you will not remember the chores you failed to do, but you will remember the tears you failed to kiss away.

  7. When in doubt, ask for help--for yourself as well as for your children.              


Download a FREE pdf handout on Teen Suicide - Download

Having trouble and need one-on-one help - Contact Keys Experts for advice



9. One-liner of the Month:


"You may not be responsible for your heritage, but you are responsible for your future."



Send us your favorite one-liner today and look for it in future editions.




10. Tip of the Month for Teachers:  You Are Important

Caring TeacherEveryone remembers two teachers from their childhood days. There was one that made you look forward to being sick so you could stay home avoid seeing him or her. Then there was that very special teacher that had a major impact on your decision to become a teacher yourself. Here are some tips on how to be that teacher that you so admired:

  1. Connect. That is, show a genuine interest in each child on an individual basis. We sometimes get so caught up with all the "other stuff" that we have to do, that we don't really get to know one or two students each year. Make a conscious effort to connect with them.

  2. Go Beyond the Walls. Take your class on field trips. Even if only to the cafeteria to observe cooking, get them out and go that extra step.

  3. Care. Ask about family members or even pets. Get a brief rundown on the soccer game or fishing trip.

  4. Time. Give just a little extra to a struggling student. All the other students will notice that you truly want to help and do not count anyone out.

One note of caution, this is not a popularity contest. Maintain your professionalism through well set boundaries while setting the example of a truly caring teacher.

For more on this and related subjects, read the article on Connections.



11. Training Opportunities


Training for Staff


Mark these on your calendar and register today or call or email to set up a training at your school or in your community.





Schedule or Co-Sponsor a training for you School or Community--email or call (800)504-7355



12. What Others Say About Keys To Safer -


Click to see a video recommendation using Media Player.

See Video to learn how others feel about Keys' Training
Must be on internet & slight wait to download clips

Click to see a video recommendation using Real Player.

What Others Say About Us! The best advertisement is word of mouth. We truly appreciate the many kind and encouraging words said about us by those of you who have attended one of our training's or received another service from us. Those who are considering one of our services might find it helpful to review some of these comments. Please feel free to contact any of them that you recognize. If you have a comment about Keys To Safer and would like to share it with others, please email it to us and we will place it on the site. To read some comments click here ->



13. Co-sponsor a Training Seminar. 


Would you like to have a training event in your school or local area but fear that you do not have the participation or budget to do so? Keys has a program just for you!  Co-sponsoring one of these trainings in your area.  We will bring the training to you and provide you with a Free Slot.  This would cut travel costs, hotel expenses, work days lost travel to and from event, food costs, car expenses, and you get a Free Slot out of it, too.  Again, what we look for in selecting a site are;

  • A site large enough to hold about 50-100 attendees,

  • A school willing to Co-Sponsor it...there are no costs in sponsoring it (see Co-Sponsoring guidelines),

  • Close to an Airport or a hub district for other school districts in the area,

  • A school willing to be a gracious host to others who attend and

  • a willingness to help us get the word out to surrounding schools/organizations in the area.


It is a Win - Win arrangement.  If anyone has questions or desires more information about this training opportunity contact us (800)504-7355.



14.  Check out Keys New items on our Drug Test Kits & Devices

Mini Digital Alcohol Tester

pdf download on Drug Tester Prices


Keys has dropped prices on all Drug Tester -  Check it out ---------->


Parents, looking for a way to help your teen stay away from drugs or does your teen already have a drug problem and you are trying to help?  Parent's try using this Mini Digital Alcohol Tester or these Drug Test Kits in conjunction with your personal family drug policy to help your children stay off or away from drugs, alcohol and tobacco.  Parents are you concern about Date Rape Drugs?  Is your young adult going to College and you want to help them.  Keys has Date Rape Tester available now...check them out.  See links below.

We offer:  Also offered are:
1-drug strip,   Tobacco Testers,
1-drug, Alcohol Saliva Tests and 
5-drugs, Saliva Drug Tester
5-drugs Cup , Mini Alcohol Testers.
6-drugs Cup , Micro Alcohol Tester.
6-drugs and, Digital BAC Testers.
9-drugs test kits  Date Rape Testers.

Download Drug Item pdf Flyer:  Click Here

Drug Free Family Pak:  Learn More

Selecting Shipping time-frame:  SHIPPING

Or for information on large quantity discounts for Schools, Organization, Juvenile Courts, Business or others call Keys for a quote.  Contact us today at (800) 504-7355 or email us at the address below to set up your account for using Purchase Orders.





Contact Information....

Keys To Safer website is at https://keystosaferschools.comContact: Keys National Service Center at or call "toll free" (800)504-7355.


The local number for the Keys Headquarters Offices only has changed to 501-847-2596.  All other numbers remain the same.


Looking for Answers

search our Site for them.   Click here - >


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