Here is the first installment of a series of articles from Wayne Lynch, Executive Consultant.
The reasons for school shootings are many and complex. Many people, including some of our politicians, focus on one factor: gun control. The topic of gun control leads and supports their agenda. Yet, there are a wide variety of ongoing reasons and factors for shootings:
- Guns are many and available to people who don’t need to have one
- The decay of moral character (Video games, violence and the devaluation of life in our society – particularly with our young people)
- The decline of the family unit and parental involvement
- The approach to mental health and the lack of availability and treatment
- The architecture and design of our schools, as well as lack of training for faculty and staff
All of the above are contributing factors in school shootings. Until we address each through awareness, action, and training, we may continue to experience mass violence. Your thoughts?
©2018 Bobby Brasher
School Safety Threat Assessment is the first step to making your campus safe and secure. Historically, schools have been designed and built for easy entrance and easy exit. They were never built to protect and guard from an attack.
Now, we find ourselves trying to reinforce and defend structures and buildings that were never designed to deter or prevent an attack.
A thorough threat assessment is the first step towards student safety. Our safety and security consultants are veteran military law-enforcement with instructor certifications. In the coming weeks, I will break down the components for the security of your school and your students.
There are several non-economic factors that distinguish family-owned schools from those with other ownership structures. Owner values and emotional engagement are two such factors addressed in previous posts. Another such unique and distinguishing factor is altruistic behavior among family members. Altruistic behavior among family members, in the literature, is considered to refer to family members’ desire to cater to the welfare of their family unit (Gomez-Mejia, Cruz, Berrone, and De Castro).
This consultant has worked with many proprietary schools in which altruistic behavior among family members has been functional, purposeful, and effective; contexts within which members of a family have joined forces in operating their school, resulting in an efficient and economically-sound endeavor, bringing economic and non-economic benefit to the family members, as well as to the consumers and beneficiaries of the enterprise.
There is, however, potential for a darker side to this factor of altruistic behavior, in the context of family-owned schools, in which the effort and intent is to benefit family members engaged in the enterprise, without significant consideration to their qualification or contribution to achievement of intended organizational purposes. The satisfaction resulting from this altruism, and the benefits received, can end up being a consequence of living up to family obligations, rather than a commitment and expectation of competence, contribution, or professional performance.
As a safeguard against this sort of altruistic behavior, which can be highly detrimental in the school setting, it is increasingly common for family-owned schools to develop governance-level policies which require owners and beneficiaries of owners who intend to work within the schools, to:
- demonstrate qualifications commensurate with the position,
- submit to supervision and evaluation according to established norms,
- and receive compensation consistent with that received by employees of similar rank and responsibility.
In this way, safeguards are put into place to ensure that altruistic behavior among family members doesn’t become a negative force within the school and its community.
©2018 David A. Wells, Ed.D.
There are several non-economic factors that distinguish family-owned and other privately-owned schools from those with other ownership structures. Owner values are one such structure addressed in a previous post. Another such unique and distinguishing factor is strong emotional engagement. Such schools provide a context in which the family and social group dynamics overlap with those of the school, and create rich and challenging emotional realities.
Owners’ identities are closely tied to their school, and their reputations and social identities are connected directly and inextricably to their school.
Both emotional stress and satisfaction are closely tied to the owners’ engagement, especially when owners are active in governance and/or management of their school. Baron (2008) asserts that “it is now widely accepted that the boundaries between family and the firm are blurred in family business, and that emotions flow back and forth, ultimately affecting how the firm conducts its activities.”
This consultant has observed the role that emotions play in decision-making and in the social dynamics of a school through his involvement with a highly-successful school in Central America, owned jointly by several individuals; each of whom was actively engaged in the school’s governance and operation. The emotional and affective connection between these owners and their school clearly influenced emotions, behaviors, social relationships, communication flow, and decision-making in the school.
Unlike schools owned by entities such as foundations, parent associations, churches, and other entities, in which there is often a regular rotation of key leaders and employees, in privately-owned schools (especially those owned by families), issues cannot be resolved simply by separation and having key figures move on and be replaced. Owners who choose to be active in their schools, are bound together, obliged to deal with the emotional and inter-personal challenges that invariably come, often without the option of moving on to another enterprise.
Family-owned and other privately-owned schools have unique cultures and distinctions, which add to the richness of the non-public school community and the variety of options available in the marketplace. These cultures and distinctives often reflect the essence of the personalities, emotions, and uniqueness of the owners themselves.
©2018 David A. Wells, Ed.D.
There are several non-economic factors that distinguish family-owned schools from those with other ownership structures. One such unique and distinguishing factor is the “Values” held by school owners. Values particular to the Founder or the family-owners often permeate the school’s organization and operation. It is very common that family-owners have a strong desire to infuse their values into the school’s culture, and considerable attention is paid to preserving, celebrating, and perpetuating these values in the life of the school, as an essential facet of the owner’s non-economic investment and legacy.
“The importance of family values as the pillars of the family business’s culture… enabling the company to be differentiated from other enterprises” (Aronoff, 2004).
Often, the dominant role of the Founder of the school, during the entrepreneurial stage of the school’s development, and in subsequent phases, frames a culture within which the inculcation and propagation of the owner’s values become powerful cultural drivers within the school.
This reality has been observed first-hand in several contexts, but never more powerfully than in the DelCampo International School, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. This Consultant had the opportunity to accompany the school’s Founder, Orietta Facusse in the process of articulating the values she holds and seeks to celebrate and propagate in DCIS. One such value, that is self-evident in DCIS’s culture, is the Founder’s passionately-held value of the “essential worth of the individual”.
“At DCIS, we believe that an individual has intrinsic worth, and that this worth is not dependent upon the individual’s ability, intellect, capacity, attributes, or even potential. Rather, we value integral development of the individual, helping and permitting for each individual to reach his/her personal potential” (DCIS Board Policy).
This value drove the Founder, and those in her leadership circle, to develop the DelCampo International Academy, a “school within the school” that provides unique and specialized programs and services permitting students who had never been successful in traditional school programs to succeed and flourish. Development of the “Academy” was a risk and a challenge, considered worthy because of a school culture that firmly values of the essential worth of all individuals.
©2018 David A. Wells, Ed.D.
Dr. David A. Wells, Executive and Managing Consultant of the GLOBAL School Consultant Group, is honored to provide governance training to the Board of the Colegio Panamericana (www.panamericano.edu.co), of Bucaramanga, Colombia. The Board of Director’s reports to the General Assembly of Parents, and is responsible for governance of the school, including oversight of the work of the school’s director.
The Colegio Panamericano is a progressive, non-profit educational community with a global perspective offering both Colombian and U.S. diplomas. The school’s rigorous curriculum and exemplary faculty empower students to develop their intellectual, physical, and ethical potentials in preparation for a quality university education and successful life.
Dr. David A. Wells is honored to have the opportunity to bring together and manage a team of executive-level consultants that has been contracted by “Exalting Christ in Honduras” to conduct a comprehensive organizational assessment of “Ministerios Evangélicos de las Americas” (MEDA), based in Siguatepeque, Honduras. The consulting team is composed of Alfredo Umaña, Dr. Stephen Robinson, and Wayne Lynch.
MEDA provides conference and training programs, focused on pastoral training and church strengthening, for the purpose of developing pastors and church leaders. Currently, more than 100 churches send leaders to MEDA for training.
MEDA’s mission is to promote the exaltation of Jesus Christ in Latin America through the Spirit-filled, powerful, passionate and precise preaching of His Word. This is accomplished by training church leaders through sound biblical exegesis to exalt Christ in their lives and in their preaching. MEDA offers two pastoral training and two church-strengthening programs: The Seminary for Expository Preaching (SEPE), The Institute for Pastoral Ministries, conferences for all church leaders, and The Institute for Women’s Ministries.
Dr. David A. Wells, Executive and Managing Consultant of the GLOBAL School Consulting Group is pleased to provide accreditation consulting services to the Tomas de Berlanga School / Scalesia Foundation on Santa Cruz Island, in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador.
The school was founded in 1994 as an expression of a conviction that improved education was a prerequisite to a more sustainable Galapagos. The philosophy of the school is based on a commitment to the development of critical thinking, bilingualism, high academic standards, and experiential learning. A hallmark of the school is a privately funded need-based scholarship program, making the school’s program available to students of diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
Dr. David A. Wells is honored to be providing consultative support to the leadership of the Colegio Bilingüe de Panamá, as they assess the benefits and challenges of seeking accreditation through one of the recognized international accrediting agencies. The school is currently authorized by the Ministry of Education of Panama (MEDUCA), certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9001), and is a “Leader in Me” school. Among the purposes of the Colegio Bilingüe de Panama is to provide a high quality, bilingual educational experience for students, and to develop individuals with individuals with values and moral principles, equipped to be change-agents in society.