Criminals Act Fast, So You Should Too

Court case shows why campus staff must promptly report unauthorized visitors.

A colleague just sent me information on an appellate ruling relating to a civil action against a Nebraska school district.  According to court documents, a man entered a school without signing in and was spoken to by school employees before he molested a young boy in a school restroom.  

Though the attacker was quickly reported as a suspicious person by a staff member and actions were taken, the man was still able to locate and molest an unsupervised child during his short visit to the school. 

Despite the fact that this case focused on the issue of how much responsibility the district has in foreseeing this type of event, the details of this incident illustrate just how easy it can be for an aggressor to walk into most K-12 schools to carry out an attack. 

This case also illustrates how important it is to teach school employees how to respond to people who they feel may be intruders. While the employees apparently took relatively prompt action, they did not perform the steps that could have prevented the molestation of the child. 

As you probably well know, it can often be difficult to get campus employees to understand just how much harm can occur in just a few minutes. This sad case is yet another reminder that there are those among us who will quickly prey on members of our campus communities if they see the chance to do so.

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About the Author


Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a global non profit campus safety center. During his 30 year campus safety career, Michael has served as a university police officer, corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. He served as a school system police chief for ten years before being appointed the lead expert for the nation's largest state government K-20 school safety center. The author of 25 books on school safety, his work has taken him to Central America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East. Michael welcomes comments, questions or requests for clarification at Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety magazine.

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