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Les Nichols, Child Safety and Security Expert

R. Leslie Nichols, MSSA, CPP

Empowering Youth Serving Organizations to Protect Children

If you are a school superintendent, the head of a church, the CEO of youth serving organizations, or a non-profit board member, you worry each time you learn about threats that could seriously injure, traumatize or destroy the lives of the children under your organization’s care.  At the same time, you are equally concerned about the safety of your staff and volunteers and how well prepared they are to respond to an emergency.  Finally, you think about how such an incident would undermine the public’s trust in your organization and your ability to carry out your organization’s mission.

People often characterize threats to child safety in broad terms, such as “gun violence,” “molestation,” bullying,” “terrorism,” “kidnapping” or “fatalities.” Yet, behind the broad terms are more familiar threats that could be enacted through any number of scenarios, for example:

Child Sex Abuse

  • Staff on child abuse
  • Child on child abuse
  • Parents are sex offenders
  • Contract services
  • Staff on staff misconduct
  • Shared facilities & field trips

Armed Violence

  • Fighting
  • Students or staff with weapons
  • Intruder with weapons
  • Unhinged parents or spouses
  • Terrorism (CBRE or ramming)
  • Street crime (FBI Index)

Bullying

  • Physical & verbal bullying
  • Social shunning/shaming
    (mean girls)
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Victims that are also victims (bully victims)
  • Workplace harassment

Fatalities & Serious Injuries

  • Pedestrian injury by vehicles
  • Bus passengers’ injuries
  • Drowning on-site and off-site
  • Concussions
  • Communicable diseases
  • Freak accidents

Sex Abuse

  • Staff on child abuse
  • Child on child abuse
  • Parents are sex offenders
  • Contract services
  • Staff on staff misconduct
  • Shared facilities & Field trips

Armed Violence

  • Fighting
  • Students or staff with weapons
  • Intruder with weapons
  • Unhinged parents or spouses
  • Terrorism (CBRE or ramming)
  • Street crime (FBI Index)

Bullying

  • Physical & verbal bullying
  • Social shunning/shaming
    (mean girls)
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Victims that are also Victims (bully-victims)
  • Workplace harassment

Fatalities & Serious Injuries

  • Pedestrian injury by vehicles
  • Bus passengers injuries
  • Drowning on-site and off-site
  • Concussions
  • Communicable diseases
  • Freak accidents

How I Can Help

My name is Les Nichols. I’ve spent the past 25 years developing and promoting organizational safety and security strategies for youth serving organizations.  Over that time, I’ve worked with thousands of youth development and education professionals, advising them on how to improve their organizations in order to better protect children.  At the same time, I have collaborated with some of the top child-protection experts in the country.  These experiences have taught me one important truth: the key to controlling threats to children in youth serving organizations depends less on having the latest security technology than it does investing in your organization’s “culture of safety.”

I say this because a strong culture of safety is the only antidote to counteract the complacency and over-confidence that grows within an organization when it has not experienced a serious threat or incident in recent memory.

The organization’s leadership staff tell themselves that  “Safety is #1” or “Protecting children is our  highest priority”  because it is easy to say. Then they begin to believe they are good, when in fact they have been lucky!

I know I can reduce your organization’s risks and in the process, help make your organization stronger.  As a decision maker in youth serving organizations, I encourage you to explore my company’s services.