Keys To Safer
Keys To Safer

Detection and Prevention of School Violence

Providing Information Services to Over 100,000 Subscribers in the US and Overseas...

March 2004 Edition


Safety Bulletin: March 2004
schools remain vulnerable



Monthly Safety Bulletin Providing information to Promote safe Schools and organizations


1. What is a "Soft Target"?
As security tightens up around airports and other government facilities, terrorist are prone to look for targets that are easier to reach. Those "easier to reach" targets are called "Soft Targets". They will still want to produce the desired effect of striking at a symbol of the nation and inducing terror that will grip the most people. A soft target has: 


  • Relaxed security

  • Easy Access

  • Symbol of the nation

  • Targets that will produce terror when struck


Did you know that schools


  • are Soft Targets

  • Gov. Officials believe we will likely be attacked [download Report]

  • hold more people (children) than any place of employment in any community, and they are most precious in our eyes

  • fly the national flag

  • are easy to reach

  • have little to no security


And most telling of all is the fact that terrorists groups in other parts of the world have already shown their willingness to attack schools 9/04 update to this article "Beslan, Russia" and more ->(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) because of the fear such little effort on their part generates in hearts of others. Is there anything that we can do to be prepared? Go to:



2. February Special is extended- FREE handouts from our

"Collection of Valuable Handouts Booklet"

Due to your overwhelming response to Keys February Appreciation Month we have extended it for the month of March.  As a way of giving back to those who read, support and provide information for this exciting and informative Newsletter we will provide a web link.  This web-link will allow you to download all our handouts included in our Book called "Collection of Valuable Handouts".  Keys routinely sells this for $19.95 but it will be Free for the month of March.  Feel free to pass this information on to all that might benefit from these valuable handouts.  They deal with topics like;


* How to break up a fight               * Check list of a Safe School   

*  Anger Management Techniques (4 ways)         * Bullying

* Managing a Escalating/Hostage Situation   * Adolescent Depression 
Oppositional Defiant
- Behavioral Responses (Checklist)

* Internet Safety Contract w/students     * Teen Suicide Prevention    

* and much more...

Thank you again!  Click to download all these and more....




3. The Gothic Subculture  

GothThe  Gothic movement gained notoriety three weeks ago when the Collier County (Florida)  Sheriff's Office began its investigation into six Lely High School students for plotting  a Columbine style mass murder. A number of experts believed the Columbine killers were a part of the Goth or Gothic Movement because of their black trench coats. Young people who embrace the Goth life-style cause concern for schools, parents and communities with their unusual dress and their fascination with death, vampires and morbid subjects. When asked about the black clothing, the common answer is, "We don't exist to you anyway." There are two general groups, those that truly embrace the philosophy of the Goth life style and the Wannabes. Those who are truly a part of the Goth life style are morbid but proclaim passiveness and non-violence, while others who dabble or Wannabes are drawn to the shock effect of the dress and music. This second group desires so much to be seen and does not want to be invisible or ignored. Many psychologists believe that the True Goths, unlike the wannabes, want to be left alone, but like the wannabes, do not 

Articles This Month

- What is a Soft Target?

- March Special - FREE
  Handouts all Month

- The Gothic Subculture
- Canada's School Violence
(45 miles for Toronto)
- Orlando: 4th Annual Nat'l Conf
- Tip for Students: How to solve
   a problem
- Signs of Student Drug Usage
- Spain's Terrorist Attack
- Tip for Parents: Write before
   you speak
- Wisdom in a One Liner
- Tip for Teachers: How to
   enhance innovation
- Up Coming Training Calendar
- Grants Crisis Plan Developmnt.
- What Others say about Keys
- Co-Sponsor a Training in your
area & obtain a FREE Slot
- New! On-line checks accepted
- And more...

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

Addition Links
- Keys Mission
- Trainings
- Services
- Products
- Articles
- Map of School Shootings
- Search our Site
- Register On-line
- Schedule an Event
- FREE Services
- Download a Catalog (Word)
- Contact Us

Lock Out Violence Everyday with Keys To Safer


want to be invisible. While they tend to be dark in both dress and mood, the greater issue relating to violence is, "Do they have a past history of violence or other early and imminent warning signs?" Dressing Gothic may attract your attention but then look for signs of a sudden change, such as, loss of interest in things that once held their attention; skipping school; avoiding parental contact, a drop in performance at academics, self-mutilation. Being "Goth" should not be considered alone but in combination with other traits, it may indicate a youth in need of immediate help. For more details, read the article at:



4.TORONTO: Canada National School Violence Prevention Workshop and Conference


Canada ConferenceMay 25-28, 2004 at the Hockley Highlands Inn and Conference Center in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada (about 45 miles from Toronto) people from across Canada (and the US) will gather for 4 days of intensive workshops to be better prepared for detecting and preventing violence in schools. Sergeant Curtis Rutt, decorated officer with the Orangeville Police Department will lead the Conference with other Keys staff. Courses to be presented include Assessing the Potentially Dangerous Student (PDS), Bullying Stops When Respect Begins, and Terrorism: What Schools Can Do. For more information and to register on line, go to:



5. Orlando:   4th Annual Conference on School Violence Prevention


Totti "Mike" Karpela, SergeantJune 14-15, 2004 are the dates for this year's conference. The site will once again be the Ramada Resort at the Maingate to Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida. The theme for the conference is Homeland Security Codes, Bio/Chemical Terrorism and What Schools can do. There will be presentations by Subject Matter Experts and Discussion Groups about Practical Actions for Schools. One Subject Matter Expert will be Sergeant Mike" Karpela.  He is a 15 year veteran of the National Police of Finland where he currently lives. Currently Mike works as a sergeant for Helsinki Police Department and runs the country's only Threat Management Unit. Part of his responsibilities are to coordinate crime prevention projects related to workplaces and schools. Mike has also written guidelines for Finnish schools on assessing risks on hostile students. For more information:




6. Tips for Students:  How to Solve a Problem

ConfusedFighting, arguing and running away do solve problems. You might get your way for now or you could avoid a conflict until it explodes but the original problem will still be there, waiting to pop-up again. But here are some long lasting steps to truly solve a problem:

  1. Identify the real problem.

  2. Think of all that could happen if you do not solve this problem.

  3. Think of all the things you could do to respond to this problem.

  4. Think of all the consequences of each response.

  5. Select the response that has the consequences you can best live with.

  6. If you're struggling with which one, ask a trusted adult for a little advice.

  7. Act on your selection.

With practice, you will be able to do this entire process in just a few seconds.  To download a handout on Resolving Conflict --> Click here   To learn more about an Interactive CD on Anger and Conflict Resolution that walks students through 3 ways to handle it. --> Click here




7. Signs of Student Drug Usage

Student Drug UsageHow can you tell if your student is using drugs or alcohol? It is difficult because changes in mood or attitudes, unusual temper outbursts, changes in sleeping habits and changes in hobbies or other interests are common in teens. What should you look for?  You can also look for signs of depression, withdrawal, carelessness with grooming or hostility. Also ask yourself, is your student doing well in school, getting along with friends, taking part in sports or other activities?

Watch List for Parents and Teachers

  • Changes in friends
  • Negative changes in schoolwork, missing school, or declining grades
  • Increased secrecy about possessions or activities
  • Use of incense, room deodorant, or perfume to hide smoke or chemical odors
  • Subtle changes in conversations with friends, e.g. more secretive, using “coded” language
  • Change in clothing choices: new fascination with clothes that highlight drug use
  • Increase in borrowing money
  • Evidence of drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, etc.
  • Evidence of use of inhalant products (such as hairspray, nail polish, correction fluid, common household products); Rags and paper bags are sometimes used as accessories
  • Bottles of eye drops, which may be used to mask bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils
  • New use of mouthwash or breath mints to cover up the smell of alcohol
  • Missing prescription drugs—especially narcotics and mood stabilizers

What can be done?  Parents, schools, juvenile agencies and others are exploring ways to help students deal with drug usages.  One way is through drug testing. Keys has been supplying these items to schools, individuals, military organizations and major universities. Perhaps the most popular new item for Drug Testing is the Oral Screen. This device eliminates the privacy issues encountered in collecting urine samples. It also eliminates Health Department concerns in handling urine. Keys' Saliva Drug Tester will accurately identify 4 common illegal drugs of abuse, or verify their absence. 

Date Rape TestersA case recently reported involved a young lady who was sexually assaulted  after drinking something spiked with a Date Rape drug. Keys' has the only tester available for this class of drug. The testers come in two styles, one resembles a business card or credit card, the other is a coaster. If a young person has any reason to suspect his or her drink, a drop on the tester will discover if the drink has been spiked.  To see other testing supplies click on any of the links in the table below.





8. Spain's Terrorist Attack like that of 911

Spain's Terrorist AttackDespite security upgrades, new surveillance systems and tightened explosives regulations, America's schools remains vulnerable to a terrorist attack like the deadly bombings on Spanish trains, U.S. officials and terrorism experts say.

The simplicity of the timed backpack bombs placed on Spanish commuter trains demonstrates that such an attack can be carried out, they said.  "We can't stop terrorism. All we can do is reduce the risks to levels that people can accept," a national security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Homeland security and law enforcement officials said they have no specific intelligence indicating terrorists are planning a similar attack in the United States. But as recently as Jan. 28, the FBI issued a bulletin to state and local law enforcement officials describing "a continued terrorist interest" in striking American.  Such an attack, the FBI bulletin said, "could cause substantial loss of life" and have an "impact on public confidence resulting in massive economic loss."
If you have doubts about your school's state of preparedness for Chemical, Biological terrorist attack, contact Keys today and review this pages at this link:



9. Tip of the Month for Parents:  Write before you speak


Write it downParents tend to be very emotional when it comes to their children. This is how it should be. However, emotional appeals are sometimes dismissed by school officials as being a parent thinking that his or her little darling never has any problems. School officials are also over worked and short on time; emotional parents tend to take forever to get to the point. Therefore, whenever you need to reach the ear (or heart) of a school official, write what you want to say. Hold nothing back. Let the words flow. Take a break and walk around the house or do something to take a break from the issue. Come back to what you have written and read it out loud and slowly.

Now, start editing.

  • Identify what you want of the school official,

  • the key points of concern and

  • any possible suggestions for a resolution.

  • Repeat this process until your letter is just one page long.

It is recommended that you mail it, but this letter will serve you well to hold it in your hand if you decide to speak with the official.  If you will be attending a meeting with school officials and need to advocate for your student then download this helpful pdf handout --> Click here



10. One-liner of the Month:


The human body is naturally lazy; only your mind can pick it up and drive it.
Contributed by Sergeant Curtis Rutt


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





11. Tip of the Month for Teachers:  How to Enhance Innovation in your School


The desire may be to innovate your Lesson Plan, classroom design, start a new program, take over a new job or any number of ways we might want to innovate. By the way, this will work with students who you are helping develop ways of controlling their behavior to completing their class work.  This step-by-step process will help you get started.  Although, if a piece of the road map is not there failure will rear its ugly head.   Here is the Road Map.


Vision(1) -->  Skills(2) -->  Incentives(3) -->  Resources(4) -->  Action Plan(5)

This Road Map will produce that Positive and Innovated CHANGE

  1. Without "Vision" you will produce CONFUSION

  2. Without "Skills" you will produce ANXIETY

  3. Without "Incentive" you will produce NOTHING

  4. Without "Resources" you will produce FRUSTRATION

  5. Without an "Action Plan" you will produce FALSE START

So look at yours or your student's feelings about Innovating something and match that up with the feelings or outcomes above.  This will help you see where you are lacking.  Shore up that area and try again. (example: If you experience FRUSTRATION about developing an After School Program you may lack Resources.  If a student is experience ANXIETY about a homework assignment he/she may lack Skills.)



12. Training Opportunities


Training for StaffMark 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




13. Crisis Plan Development Grants

Crisis PlanningKeys To Safer is presently working with several schools who have received the Discretionary Grants for Developing Crisis and Contingency plans. Some have received their grant money and are in need of expertise in developing the plans, others are writing their applications for these funds and have sought our help. Keys has developed a Model that breaks Crisis Planning into more manageable elements to help you work through this process. You can read about it at:

If you want to update your Crisis Plan and want one that is well thought out, provides for integrated services, and is completely comprehensive, review this article, download our Crisis Road Map (pdf 360k) and contact Keys today



14.  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 ->



15. 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.



16. Keys Can Now Accept Your Check On-line

When ordering training, materials or the testers below, you can write a check on-line as simply as writing one at your local grocery store. Look for the "pay by check" option button and follow the instructions. It is easy, it is secure and it is available now. Some of the latest innovations in drug testing are available through Keys and our new check option.

Or for information or to place an order, go to:


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: Mike Nelson or Frank Green at or call local (501)847-2596, "toll free" (800)504-7355.


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