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Book Review: Murder in the Classroom - A Practical Guide for Prevention

Murder in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Prevention. By Robert D. Sollars. CreateSpace Publishing; available from A​​; 210 pages; $9.99.​

​​School violence is not limited to certain countries but can happen anywhere. This is a book that aims to bring a practical perspective to preventing school violence. An argument put forth is that gun control is not the real answer, and the author strives to provide a multidisciplinary approach. The self-published book is written by Robert D. Sollars, a security professional who has authored numerous articles and serves as an expert for the media.​

The prevention strategy outlined in the book targets parents, students, and schools. The reader is guided through issues such as the early warning signs that parents and teachers can look for, attitudes that foster violence, building security, parental responsibility, and other issues.  

The book is mainly based on experience and is written in an informal and readable style, with short chapters. At one point in the book, the author turns the pages over to his wife to share her experience on raising kids and picking battles. Underlining the informality of the book is that not all content is equally relevant. 

Because the book is based on experience, arguments and claims made in the book are not substantiated by peer-reviewed literature. You will not find a list of references in the book. The author warns the reader in the introduction that “the ideas presented in this book will be shocking to some and just weird to others.” Furthermore, he says, “Some will consider the ideas I put forth in the book to be stupid, even idiotic. To others, it will make perfect sense to take a logical app​roach, and not a kneejerk reaction to the issue.” 

As a security professional, you will probably not agree with everything in the book. Nevertheless, if you are new to school security, this book adds a practical perspective, but it should not be your single source of information. 

Reviewer: Tommy Hansen, CPP, CSMP (Certified Safety Management Professional), is a senior security advisor at the petroleum safety authorities in Norway. He is a member of the ASIS Commission on Standards and Guidelines and the Petrochemical, Chemical, and Extractive Industries Security Council. He has a varied background from the military and corporate security.