August 17, 2023

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

Michael, I just want to thank you for that wonderful phone call that we had back in 2015 when you helped lead us through the process of understanding there was a lot more risk to our students than active shooter events.

And the great work you’ve done with Mr. Satterley and the others on your team were fundamental to us developing our MedTech program. And now I look back eight years and the lives that have been saved could I can directly attribute to you.

So, thank you for the great work you do and you and your wife and your team and all the great things you do. So, thank you So, much. And thank you for helping us today. Our topics today are to address threats to the rising freshmen in high school and the rising freshmen to college. Parenthetically, as we look at it, our public health system is pretty fragmented and there is much parents can do and teachers and schools can do. Is that a fair statement?

Speaker: Michael Dorn

Yes, sir. And I appreciate the work you’re doing. And one thing just to mention, I was a university police officer for 10 years before I became a school district police chief. So, I’ve got some different experiences we’ve run into there as well as our work for the last 20 plus years globally. So, but I appreciate the opportunity and glad to be of assistance, whatever we can. 

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

SLIDE Med Tac We will talk about the eight Med Tac focus areas. And again, a no small part was what we learned from you. Sudden cardiac arrest is a big deal. 1,000 student athletes dying every year. SLIDE Lead Slide cardiac Arrest We see a number of the stories that we’re showing during this program.

Critically important that everyone understand CPR, use of an AED, especially if you tie it back to some of the severe trauma events. Is that a fair statement? What would you like to add that parents need to know about their rising freshmen in high school and the bigger risks that they have, but also in higher ed? 

Speaker: Michael Dorn

Sure, you know, the biggest thing is the public perception and the perception of many educators and public safety officials often doesn’t match the data.

So, you know, back when you called me, one of the things that you’ve done that’s been extremely helpful. We’ve got a lot of data, Steve Satterley’s data on his studies on the relative risk of death in K-12.

But nobody had any really good data on medically related deaths, emergencies, unrelated violence. We’ve always felt it was by far the leading cause of death in K-12 schools, but it’s not really been tracked. kakekmerah4d

You know, and people get really focused on active shooter. And I’ve worked 23 active shooter events. I’m working five right now. They’re terrible events, but they’re one of the rarest causes of fatalities on K-12 campuses in the United States.

And it’s a global phenomenon is not unique to the United States. There has been an increase in those types of events in recent years, but it’s when you look at the data, you know, not to undermine how terrible they are. That’s an extremely rare cause of death compared to those type of emergencies you’re focused on with your MedTech program. pgslot

And then, you know, athletic practices and events from what we can tell is the next for K-12 fatalities followed by traffic fatalities, which I know you address.

That’s people being hit on school property and parking lots and drives. Then we get to homicide. And then within homicide, the active shooter events that get So, much media attention and are So, catastrophic represent about 8% of those deaths.

So, it’s definitely not something to be ignored, but your approach is actually far more important in saving lives when you look at the data. And I’ve been in this field 43 years and I’ve polled when I do keynotes for educators.

I’ll say how many of you have had a fatal shooting or any shooting in one of your schools anytime during your career. And I’ll get maybe a few hands go up. But if I say how many of you that anytime in your career have had a fatality from a medical emergency, almost every hand goes up.

So, it’s not leading in the news because it’s usually one fatality at a time. But when you look at the numbers, it’s staggering. 

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

Fantastic. And so, you know, we’re recommending that every family gets CPR, AED training. We’re working with the American Academy of Pediatrics to try to drive that know-how. And I know that you’re a Scout family, your son is, and ultimately pursuing an Eagle Scout rank as has my son. We had the benefit of being able to help focus that. But many countries around the world require it and many states require CPR, AED training. So, we’re working really hard on putting rescue stations within three minutes from drop to shock anywhere on the school property.

So, as we shift gears to choking and drowning, these are very common as well. SLIDE Heimlich Maneuver And we think it’s critically. Everybody learns the Heimlich maneuver. And then in the older age groups were substances, but now as you’ve done some great work in substance abuse and the high schools, the airways critical. And there are a lot of drownings related to substances, alcohol, THC, even the nicotine poisoning. Anything you wanna address there? 

Speaker: Michael Dorn

Sure, you know, when I was in high school, we had a group of seniors cut and go to a rock quarry. And they were drinking and one of the young men drowned. He fell out of an inner tube. He didn’t have a swim too, I believe. And then my older boy, one of his friends at school, some parents went out of town. These high school kids had a party that had drugs and alcohol. He had no idea this kid used drugs. And I honestly can’t remember what happened as it has been many years ago, but he apparently overdosed in the pool and drowned.

And everybody else was somewhere else and they found him in the pool the next morning. So, you know, and I know when we moved out here into the country on a lake, our son was very young.

And I remember that first year we were here in our county, there were four drowning events. And just a couple of months, you know. And so, those are again, you know, very critical topics.

You know, and I do, you know, expert witness work and we got calls, I only take about one out of fifty cases, but we’ve had a number of calls on drowning cases at school. I have one in Florida that was a faith-based school and it was a virtual school. They had the kids come in from around the country and they had, they almost lost five students from a riptide. And the headmaster, I believe it was, who was a pastor saved four of the kids.

But one of the students, he had asthma, he didn’t know how to swim, they did no screening. They had a lifeguard back at the school, but they didn’t bring him to the beach. And, you know, there was this death lawsuit, you know, it was just a terrible situation. So, you know, these are the things that, you know, again, you’re not gonna typically see them in the national news because they report the anomalies.

You know, they report what we wanna watch, right? And we always talk about, you know, blood and gore and those type of things that lead, but you have to be very careful because the things that kill most people are not the things that you see, you know, in the media. What a great point. Thank you, Michael, for re-emphasizing that. That is So, important.

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

You know, as we look at life-threatening allergies, SLIDE Ally Huntington Slide we recently lost a young lady, a wonderful young lady in a local high school, which we cover in this program with a short video on our website. 

And it’s very important that people understand that they need to have two auto-injectors, not one, but two, almost half of the emergency department admissions of somebody that has anaphylaxis is they used one dose and didn’t get enough.

It’s critical that they get seen by a clinician after they’re rescued. So, we’re trying to make a really important point that if you’re in a group gathering, who’s got an allergy, who’s got their Epi-Pen or autoinjector, do they have them with them and do they have two? Do you want to comment on life-threatening allergies? I know you see those in your school research and practice. 

Speaker: Michael Dorn

I do. Yes, sir. And as soon as you started saying that, I thought about a client we got that years ago that a very good school system is the best in the country, but they had some little girls out on the playground. I think they were about eight. And one little girl gave the other little girl a candy bar that had peanuts in it. And she died right there on the playground.

And one of the things that we really focus on in our work, especially with things like the medical emergencies, bullying, a lot of other things you talk about is student supervision to the extent that on our website, we’re non-profits, So, we have about 50 free training videos, but while we were working this massive vaping litigation where 1500 school districts were suing JUUL and Altria for the vaping epidemic and the damage that’s caused to the districts; one of the things about that terrible problem is it’s a supervision challenge. SLIDE Videos from Safe Havens International And so, we produced a series of three free training videos on how to improve student supervision to prevent vaping, but it’s a very important point for parents. If you go to your child’s school and you see where they don’t have good student supervision,

I would say something about it because the majority of the lawsuits that we get when attorneys call us, which is like weekly, we get lawsuits. And again, I can only take about one out of 50, but I’d say the majority of them involve supervision issues. So, when you talk about like the EpiPens, it’s also important that the staff be able to detect the emergency quickly, same with sudden cardiac arrest. We’ve had that where they didn’t recognize quickly enough what was going on. And then a related point is how fast we can get the injectors, the nurse, and the AED to where it’s needed.

So, a big thing for us, people focus on all these fancy technologies, there’s a lot of really expensive stuff you can buy for school safety and some of it’s very good, but the most important things to us are things like staff having portable radios. SLIDE Portable Radios

So, they can immediately call and get the school nurse, get the response team, and get an ambulance on the way, because if they go to their phone and they call 911,I know that sounds logical, but if I get on the phone and I call 911, typically unless they’ve got different software programs, there’s gonna be a long delay before the nurse and the school’s emergency team can bring the AED or the EpiPen or what have you in response.

So, to us, it’s extremely important when they can to have a portable radio know how to use it and then practice those things. Does that make sense? 

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

Absolutely, deliberative practice is a, we call it competency currency. And we’re working with a number of the universities and the schools right now at placement of 24 seven access to rescue stations.

And we’re recommending AED, stop the bleed kits, pulse oximeters, but also EpiPens and the loss are now allowing us to do that, which is really so, critical.

Our focus is three minutes from drop to shock for cardiac arrest SLIDE Drop to Shock slide and three minutes from gunshot to stop the bleed. SLIDE Drop to Stop the bleed And so, and that really brings us to major trauma.

And that’s where you and I started back in 2015 was, what do we do about active shooter events? And I was exploring it with you regarding the campus of the world’s largest medical center who said, hey, Dr. Denham, you work with all the hospitals and all the CEOs trust you.

We’re worried that we’ve had 160,000 students and doctors and nurses and staff within walking distance. And we could have two or 300 body count if somebody, you know, got into the wrong place and shot us up.

And so, you taught me So, much about active shooter events. Do you want to share with our caregivers and parents what they need to know now and why it’s So, important that everybody knows how to stop the bleed, but also, what we need to know about active shooter events? 

Speaker: Michael Dorn

I’d like to start with some context. So, there’s a lot of very bad information prevalent in the media, social media. So, again, I’ve worked 23 of those events in K-12 schools in the US, Canadian, Mexican schools. They have existed since before the civil war. We had two mass casualty shootings in 1891. One was a hate crime and I want to say Missouri. And it was an individual with a shotgun who shot, there was like 14 children at a play in a community building because it was a desegregated audience. There were African-American and white students there and he shot into the children and shot, I believe it was 14 people.

 In the same year there was a mass casualty shooting in Newburgh, New York at a Catholic school, parochial school, five children shot in playground. So, one thing I caution people about is this concept like it’s this new thing or it’s the most common thing.

And we’re right now working through the State Department of the Brazilian government. They’re having these events. We’ve worked with the Polish government. I mean, they’re a global phenomenon, either shootings or in countries like China with the death penalty for possession of a firearm or ammunition, they still have active shoot events are very rare, but they have a lot of mass casualty stabbings. And when you look at the attack patterns in the United States, the second most lethal attack was a bombing and a suicide bombing at a Michigan school carried out by school board member. 

And you look at these mass casualty stabbings we’ve had, of course the shootings that have had more publicity. When you get into, stop the bleed and some of these other programs, that’s one of our best opportunities. And stop the bleed, people talk a lot about best practice. Very few things in my world actually meet a best practice standard, especially in court of law.

Stop-the-Bleed has, I would say, the most proof behind it and data behind it for once you have an active assailant event saving lives, reducing casualties, okay?

Now, an important point that fits with your program is that what we call the “window of life”. And we actually focus on even a narrower window than you’re talking about, okay? So, what I notice in the shootings that I’ve worked, of those type, and then this is true of most shootings, they’re over very quickly or I would say, maybe not over, but the people who are shot are typically shot in a matter of seconds, okay?

So, one shooting I worked, he shot 25 people in under 60 seconds. Most of the mass casualty shootings I work I’d say that 75% or so, of the victims are shot in the first 30 to 60 seconds from the time of the first gunshot, okay? So, one thing that we’re seeing is an emphasis on programs like Run-Hide-Fight, the ALICE program, and they are not working very well. They’re actually increasing casualties in some of the shootings we work.

And what we try to get across to people are that Window of Life that’s training, empowering students and staff to react on their own volition in the first critical seconds of an emergency.

And that has a lot to do with minimizing casualties if you have an event, but also if you have an event, once people have been shot or cut or whatever the cause of the injury is, what you’re talking about, now we have people trained and hemorrhage control and they have the supplies they need – so, they can get to them very quickly because it’s really astounding.

I’m a former police officer and I watched a shooting by the police in Clark County, Nevada. And it was remarkable. It was a foot chase of an armed individual who’s shooting at the police officers and they shot him. The officer who was one of the officers that shot him within just seconds, he just, you know, he just guy went down, he disarmed him. And I believe he cuffed him, which is what we’re taught to do because they could have another weapon, try to take your weapon. But it was blinding speed that the officer pulled out his tourniquet kit and saved his life.

He had hit him in the leg, I think he had ephemeral artery hit. And he was So, well trained in practice, a guy that he just shot within literally five or 10 seconds, he’s applying a tourniquet and he saved the guy’s life. You know, and that is just to me remarkable having watched people die in front of me as a police officer, gunshot wounds and other bleeding injuries.

And the many cases of work where you watch it on video, and now we’ve got kids, you know, scouts and students, you know, who have those types of capabilities to very rapidly use CPR, AED, rescue breathing, Stop-the-Bleed. I mean, it’s just, I don’t think anybody will ever be able to tabulate all the people that don’t die from these.

I know when AEDs first started hitting the schools, we would get, you know, just So, many accounts of where they put in AEDs within two weeks, they saved somebody’s life.

We’ve had students in Alabama, a coach went down and kids saved his life with an AED that had just been put in a couple of weeks before. Conversely, just in the Atlanta metro area, about the same time, we had five deaths in one week from sudden cardiac arrest in K-12 schools. So,I  don’t mean to be So, long-winded, but I, you know.

These are jewels you’re giving us diamonds right now. It’s just like, I went to Israeli for 14 days of training. And one of the things they told us is, you know, if you set like your book bag or briefcase down and walk away from it, it’s gonna be very quickly, some Israeli is gonna say, “hey, whose bag is this?”. And if nobody answers, they’re gonna say, okay, everybody moves away from it. I think they told us the Israeli police get like a thousand suspicious package calls a day because the public is so attuned to looking for that type of risk because of the terrorism they have.

And they’ve done a really good job of training the public on how to prevent, you know, different types of terrorist attacks. So, you know, it’s one of those things that you’re probably not gonna see much on the media, unless it’s something like the opioid crisis and they’re giving you, you know, how many people die a year. But when you do what we do, the three and a half years we’ve spent as expert witnesses doing the largest assessment, a national assessment on vaping in schools where our analysts went in and did basically a four-hour assessment using 102, please 102 item tool and every secondary school in the first five school districts  scheduled to go to trial out of the 1500 that sued JUUL and Altria. And I’ll tell you, it was staggering working that for three and a half years, you know, in 2018, we had 27.5% of high school students in the entire country self-reported as current users of e-cigarettes and over 10% of middle school kids.

That’s five million students. We have, you know, we have, people forget, we have 55 million kids in school every day. We have more kids on our K-12 schools than all the human beings who live in Canada and Australia combined.

If you add the nine million school employees, that’s more people in our schools every day than all the human beings who live in the UK. And that’s why I tell people our homicide rate per capita is probably lower than most countries.

And I would say at least on par with or probably lower than in Canada and the UK when you look at the per capita population. But, you know, when you step back and you think about those massive numbers and then we look at all the overdoses we’re seeing, you know, 12 kids being rendered unconscious on a bus here in Georgia. And, you know, they had to call 12 ambulances. They don’t know what these kids have vaped, whether it’s opioids, methamphetamines, THC, or it’s an overdose perhaps from nicotine, which would be unusual with a mass, you know, incident like that, 11 in Florida, right? So, there again, you know, you’re getting into an overdose situation.

So, that type of training can be the difference between life and death, whether it’s from vaping or some other type of overdose. And you’ve got somebody who’s not breathing or their heart stops or both.

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

Well, Michael, you just beautifully segued to the next topic, which is opioid overdose and poisoning because it’s more than opioids. SLIDE Opioids and Poisoning slide  And I want to kind of through those as well.

But just of what we talked about here, we’re recommending that every family get CPR, AED training, get training on Heimlich maneuver, know what to do in a drowning situation, know about anaphylaxis and practice what they would do and know what an EpiPen is and the four different types of auto injectors and then stop the bleed everybody because of car accidents, because of boating accidents – so, many different ways. I mean, we had a semiprofessional surfer, which we’re showing a video of, I dive a thin cut and he bled to death from the femoral artery. So, that takes us now to opioid and poisonings and the critical need for knowing about airways, oxygenation, how Narcan works, why it doesn’t work for “Tranq” and this area of vaping. Take us through this whole opioid crisis.

Speaker: Michael Dorn

Well, if you don’t mind, I want to kind of go back to what you when you talked about drowning and make a point. So, when I was a kid, we lived in a subdivision out in the middle of nowhere and I couldn’t drive. The only job I could get would be to be a lifeguard at our subdivision beach or pool.

So, I think I was like 15 and I took the American Red Cross lifesaving course, which the guys that taught it were very, very tough. And I failed it bad. I mean, I failed three of the, I think there’s nine rescues, I failed three of them. So, I mean, I failed this course, right? Just miserably failed it. However, two weeks after I failed it, my younger brother and I saved a guy from drowning who was intoxicated and these guys were both intoxicated in a canoe and they flipped it over and the guy, very typical scenario, he could have stood up, but he panicked. He was in water up to his chest, but he panicked and was drowning right there with all these people watching and we saved him using what I learned. And then later over the course of my life, I saved two other people from drowning and I failed it. 

So, you know, most people don’t fail. I’m a diagnosed dyslexic and I was having some great difficulty with certain physical things like running with the life preserver and getting a rope tangled at that kind of thing. But, you know, these types of training programs often work amazingly well. I mean, we see these instances and you look at this and go, wow, this is really incredible. That’s this 14-year-old kid or this eight-year-old lady or whoever it was that took one of these types of training programs and applied it and somebody didn’t die.

A friend of mine is a professor is an art professor. He was in a restaurant with a doctor and his wife and the doctors start choking on chicken. He did the Heimlich maneuver just from seeing the posters at the university and saved him. And it was funny because there were two physicians in the restaurant and he reacted before they did because he was closer, right? 

And I think I told this one time before; I heard a fascinating interview with Dr. Heimlich years ago and they asked him how many people he had saved. He said, none, he’d never done it. But at the time they had, and of course, you know, there’s more of these that they don’t become aware of. But at the time they had tallied like 10,000 people being saved.

And you know, here’s this doctor that came up with it and he’s never used it, but he said, I’ve been in a restaurant before a couple of times and seen somebody starting to choke and before I could get up, some citizen jumped up and did it and saved their life. You know, so, you know, we talk about, and I’ve seen a lot more death than most people would ever even care to think about.

And not the type that you’ve probably seen most as a physician, you know, children dying in active shooter events and being run over by cars and crushed by items that fell on them and all these horrible things.

And it can really get you down if you don’t keep perspective of all the many people who didn’t die. You know, even in some of our worst tragedies,

I was brought in after this shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. And a lot of people don’t realize because that district encouraged their teachers to teach with the classroom door locked, is though he caused terrible casualties in that shooting, he was unable to get in any of those classrooms because they were teaching with the door locked. So, as bad as it was, that event could have been literally two to three times more casualties.

So, you know, even in those terrible situations, you think, well, you know, thankfully, this horrible event wasn’t even worse than it is. So, you know, again, I’m just So, grateful that the comprehensive approach that you’re taking because, you know, you’re addressing these things that we get these calls on and our clients have experienced that you’re not gonna see, you know, in the national news most of the time because it’s not newsworthy when one person, when one child dies on a playground from choking or anaphylactic shock or a teacher dies from sudden cardiac arrest in the workshop, you know, at the school, those type of things. 

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

Well, thank you So, much. And I wanna give you some good news. Although Dr. Heimlich has passed away, he did get to use his maneuver to save a life. SLIDE HEIMLICH Maneuver

It shows that he was in a retirement home. A woman was choking. He got up and walked around the table, saved her. And the more story is that he said, that’s the first time I’ve been able to use it. It’s now saved between 100 and a low. Oh, wow. More than 250,000 lives and he got a date out of it. I mean, he sounded like a wonderful guy.

And this, of course, was like 15, 20 years ago, right? But you can see the difference in the numbers because any of these like stopped the bleed. I mean, 10, I mean, some years ago, it was very rare to see anybody in a school aside from perhaps a nurse. And now we have many districts, Georgia, my state where I live, the state of Georgia,

I don’t know if they’re still doing this, but they would pay for stop the bleed training and the kits for every school bus in the state of Georgia. And you know, the Atlanta Public School System, when we assessed them the last time, the lady that’s in charge of their nursing program is phenomenal. And she was going through how they’re across this large school district, they’re doing all this training and making sure they have the kits where they need them.

And you look back at some of these shootings where people would have been saved. I remember the shooting in Texas at the church some years ago, a friend of mine, one of his best friends was the first person shot in that shooting and he was shot with a rifle. And it didn’t hit the media, what he told me the gentleman shot. And then when the attacker came in, he stood on him and shot him three more times. He shot him in both thighs and both arms, okay? With a 223 Remington round.

And he survived that. There were nurses in the church who did hemorrhage control. And to think, you know, when I was a cop on the road, you wouldn’t even think the person would have a chance let alone out in a setting like that.

So, while all these things are distressing to think about and talk about, you could, I mean, you could fill a major university with students with all the people that have been saved by these various approaches, you know?

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

Fantastic Well, you know, So, our topic right now is opioid overdose. SLIDE Opioid Slide We’ve got a pandemic of counterfeit pills that have fentanyl in them.

Go let all the parents know about this and study drugs as well. And this whole counterfeit issue with fentanyl. And now we have “Tranq”. SLIDE Tranq slide So, we now have a sedative for, veterinary sedative that is refractory to, meaning that naloxone or Narcan doesn’t work with it. And then we have the vaping crisis, which you are probably world’s expert on in terms of nicotine and THC and all the terrible things that are happening there causing disruption in the schools.

You wanna help us kind of understand what parents of rising freshmen in high school that may not have been exposed to vaping and all of a sudden, they are, and the kids that are probably picking it up as they’re more independent and their freshmen go into college.

Speaker: Michael Dorn

So, a really important point is even with the media exposure and so, forth, it is still very common for school officials to catch a student with vaping devices, vape pods, catch them in the active vaping. And then the parent comes in and curses them out and wants them to give them the JUUL or whatever device back because they feel it’s harmless, it’s just missed. 

We still have people that don’t understand that not only do those devices contain nicotine, but again, I studied this for three and a half years. The firm that retained us had 30 subject matter experts and these were some brilliant people. And I was just really amazed at some of these doctors and public health officials and mechanical engineers.

You know, one guy had five degrees in mechanical engineering, I think he was a professor in Lebanon. And he studied, he makes machines to help you understand if somebody inhales something in an environment, how much goes into the lungs and so, forth. And so, a lot of people don’t realize, So, for example, JUUL, they would tell you that one pot equaled the nicotine in one pack of cigarettes.

However, the amount of nicotine that hits the brain is much higher and it was very fast, I think within 10 seconds and hits the pleasure centers of the brain. 

So, that was the big difference when the vaping epidemic was declared in 2018 as an actual epidemic. People use that term, as you know, they throw it around a lot. So, anybody that tells you there’s a school shooting epidemic is not a subject matter expert or they’re lying, it’s not sorry to put it.

As you know, there’s a definition before you can call something an epidemic. For school shootings to be an epidemic, I think the data we ran, you’d have to have 15,000 school shootings in America in one year, more than we’ve had in the history of this country for that to be actually an epidemic.

However, with vaping, it was declared and the data is very clear based on the percentage of people that have to be addicted or use for it to be an epidemic. So, in 2018, the data that I talked to you about and the Surgeon General specifically called out JUUL as the only company, I think that he actually named because the allegation the suits was that they designed the device specifically to addict youth and marketed to youth.

Now, a lot of that was helped by their experts, but I’ll just say the information I read is quite compelling about how addictive this is.

So, after I testified in the deposition, Juul settled for $700 million, the largest, that’s the biggest school safety litigation to date in the US.

After I testified at trial where Altria went to trial in San Francisco, that evening, they called for a settlement conference and I think they settled, it was a $92 million lawsuit by San Francisco Unified and they settled for, I think it was something like $254 million dollars.

So, we’re talking a billion dollars in settlement. I think the next day, Altria’s valuation dropped by something like 12 billion. So, these companies got hit hard, 

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

Altria owns the tobacco businesses, So, Altria actually owned a certain percentage of Juul. They were both named and so, we’ve got the tobacco guys back kind of in our youth.

Speaker: Michael Dorn

Yes, sir. And so, Altria, you know, it was the biggest tobacco company in America. They invested in Juul and if I remember this correctly, they gave them marketing advice, positioning in the stores and so, forth.

So, the primary litigant was Juul and there were over 10,000 lawsuits against Juul, 1500 of those were the ones that, you know, we were involved with the school districts doing them.

And so, the hope was that the litigation, and I do believe it’s helped a lot in terms of awareness and it has limited what those two companies can do.

They can’t use the flavors anymore and other things. So, however, you know, now you can still buy, what has happened is a number of the companies in China have made knockoffs using the same technology, the same approaches. So, you can still buy those type of devices, the flavors and so, forth. 

Now a related problem that speaking of, you know, of course you can as you know, overdose from nicotine, but what’s more common, we’re getting a lot of these where THC oil, not only are we seeing these, you know, large numbers, you know, five kids, six kids overdosing, you know, teacher walks in the bathroom, there’s four kids on the floor, they don’t know what, you know, they have to call paramedics, trying to figure out what these kids have vaped. Slide THC Overdose

We’ve had one case I read where the teachers came in and found two students unconscious, one picked up the device, hand at the other, they both went down from overdose from skin contact.

So, you know, the related thing on this is marijuana use in schools has just skyrocketed because now students can vape not only THC oil, but crystal meth, phenomimes and opioids in five seconds when the teacher turns their back. It’s So, quick. So, a big message about all this, one, understand how pervasive it is.

It is the single biggest school security risk that I have seen in my 43 years. And I thought, oh, that sounds crazy to people because you immediately think school shootings. I’ve worked two active shooter events that, three, I’m sorry, three now, where vaping had a role in it, okay? And what we’re seeing is just massive tying up of school resource officers, security personnel, administrators, we’ve got building principles that are spending 40 hours a week on vaping cases instead of running their school like they normally would. 

One of the districts in Florida we work with – they had to add a full-time assistant principal and an SRO just to handle the vaping cases. I think they were calling an ambulance on average once a week for overdose. So, a big message for this is talk to your kids, make sure they understand how dangerous this is, how addictive it is. It is incredibly easy to get addicted to nicotine by vaping. Even with all the work that’s been done, the devices are still out there, they can still bother various pods, JUUL and Altera to be clear, never sold THC pods, but they knew that people were using the devices and either modifying, putting it in the JUUL pods or buying aftermarket pods.

But to be clear, they weren’t selling that, but when you look at the data, it is phenomenal. The state of Florida last year, they have what they call CESR mandatory reporting.  Every year since they came up with what offenses have to be reported to the state, fights have been the number one student conduct incident in Florida last year for the first time that was overtaken by what they term tobacco use, which includes and is predominantly vaping. And there were short of 15,000 fights in Florida high schools last year and almost 30,000, again, largely vaping as it’s tobacco violations.

And I point out to people, usually you know when you had a fight, usually you do not know when a student vaped. A very small percentage of times that they vape but they get caught.

So, the problem is much worse than peers. So, talk to your student about it. And that’s regardless of age. We are now seeing vaping increasing dramatically with elementary students.

There’s conflicting data for middle and high schools but it is definitely still, I don’t have a single client that’s saying, hey, it’s not a problem anymore. So, make sure you talk to your kids about the dangers of it.

Make sure they understand. You can easily now Google information from the CDC website and others to get the facts and so, forth. But make sure your young person understands how serious an issue it is.

When two of the former students from San Francisco Unified testified in the litigation, I got to hear one of them testify. And he was saying that he’s now 21 or 22 and he’s got friends who started vaping at school in 2018 and they’re still addicted to this day and fighting and struggling with it.

So, in spite of the overdose risk, just the idea of being addicted. And by the way, there’s So, many chemicals that they use that the FDA, nobody’s got research on what outcomes from all, especially the knockoff devices.

It’s like the opioids that you mentioned, they don’t know what’s in this stuff when they vape even sometimes when it’s nicotine. So, I would just say it’s one of my greatest concerns and it is very difficult to stop.

I will tell you this, I’ve got a very good track record of reducing weapons incidents in my school district I was police chief and by over 90% we were having typically six to eight kids cut every year with edge weapons assaults and a lot of close calls for shootings.

That was a lot easier to deal with than this is because it is So, addictive, it’s So, quick and easy to use and it is just having a catastrophic effect on school safety.

So, go back to Marjorie Stoneman Douglas School. One of the things that caught my eye before we were brought into work was that the vaping problem in the 1200 building and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas was So, severe that they were tying up a full-time campus monitor just in the 1200 building that had to lock the upstairs and downstairs three-story building.

They were locking the student restrooms on floors one and three making all the students go to floor two if they requested a pass and they had to tie up a full-time safety officer just for vaping in that one building.

Now that’s one building out of 254 schools and support facilities. They had a thousand security people on duty at the time of that shooting, not counting all the police. And you step back and you, because nobody could really tell us how many of these folks, it might’ve been 20, it might’ve been a hundred. So, then there was the issue of them not being able to shelter in the bathroom on floor three because it was locked.

So, it does correlate to sexual assault, to shootings, stabbings. When you see the drain on our school systems that is just overwhelming what we’re seeing in the school.

So, be sure, back to their individual child makes certain they understand the dangers and they understand what’s going on because what’s really striking is like the San Francisco data.

San Francisco Unified had done a remarkable job and tobacco use had just dropped dramatically across the country, but particularly in San Francisco Unified, they identified vaping as an issue many years before Juul came out, adjusted their training programs awareness and they had reduced it. But in spite of all that, when JUUL released their product in,

I think it was 2017, but it really took off in 2018, it just overwhelmed the district even though they were really light years ahead of most on dealing with it. And it was basically the kids understood the chewing tobacco, the cigars and cigarettes. They understood that, but they bought it all the social media stuff that vaping is just vapor, it doesn’t hurt you and so, forth.

It’s still out there. We still have a lot of people that just don’t understand, including parents. 

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

And as you said, they designed it uniquely to hit the pleasure center fast. I mean, that’s what the engineering did. And one last point on the vaping is the violence and disruptive behavior with the nicotine overdose in the kids. What it does to the brain, you were telling me that it creates a pretty aggressive social interaction. 

Speaker: Michael Dorn 

Well, there are a number of problems in this. Again, I’m reading mostly the depositions of the student, former student, staff and the reports by the subject matter experts, but Dr. Bonnie Felscher, I remember her full name, but she’s one of the top people. You know, they had a number of really, I mean, just stellar experts. She’s out of, I might as well blank, the university heads in California that she works at. But I mean, she’s done years of work in the addiction arena. Dr. Winnikoff is another expert that they had, the folks at the CDC and so forth.

And, you know, a number of studies have shown things like the ability of the students to learn is disrupted. The ability to retain information. When they’re addicted, they typically have a strong desire and physical need to vape about every 15 minutes.

So, one of the things that happens is these kids are asking for passes constantly, they’re slipping out of class, and then they’re going to vape. They’re vaping in on a stairwell, changing classes. They’re vaping, you know, like 50% of the kids report vaping in the classroom, you know?

So, it’s very hard to deal with because the vape detectors work very well in most indoor areas, but to put six to eight in every classroom with a camera to be able to cover the space of the classroom, you know, it’s to do that in some of the other things, it’s two to five million dollars a building, plus people to monitor these things and, you know, So, forth. I mean, and when you listen to these students talk about kids, you know, just the constant disruption to the whole learning process, teachers having to leave because the child doesn’t come back in the bathroom and so, forth. So, we had to do a lot of work to test the various technologies. One of the things that we came up with that’s extremely helpful, something called electronic hall pass systems, it was phenomenal, but it’s still, it’s such a pervasive problem, it’s very difficult to deal with. 

So, I would just say it is, it’s just mind boggling. I could talk for hours about all these things, like one of the schools in San Francisco, they were setting the fire alarm system off weekly from vaping, it was setting off, some of the fire alarm systems will go off from it. And so, now you’ve got an entire building once a week dumping out and they lose an hour of instruction, right?

And Florida, one of the schools down there, kids standing on a kid’s shoulders in a middle school bathroom, they’re hiding the vapes up in the ceiling. The kid moves the ceiling tile to get the vape device. He loses his balance; he grabs a pipe and it breaks. It was a sprinkler system, $55,000 worth of damage to the bathroom. I mean, it’s just endless, all the things that we were seeing in these schools, it’s just incredibly, I just, I think the word I used in testimony was catastrophic. 

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

The other surprising area that you taught us back in 2015, were drive-over accidents, not motor vehicle accidents. And so, there’s two parts to that. There are front drive-over and back drive-over accidents in parking lots and driveways of the home. And then when we combine substances to kids getting in cars with kids that are under the influence of THC, alcohol or other substances leading to traffic accidents, those are two separate threat areas. First address the drive-over accidents, this is something we learned from you. 

Speaker: Michael Dorn

And I had many instances of clients telling us about these terrible incidents. One of the more common is a parent running over their own child at drop off or pickup. Buses, one of the things you’ll see is, I remember one, where it was where a high school student dropped something, it went up under the bus and she went up under the bus to try to get it and the driver rolled over her.

I remember one of those, one driver was trying to radio the other driver to tell her that a child was in the bus and people were talking and she couldn’t get through the other driver and watch this child kill. And so, we do a lot of work with our clients assessing traffic safety, student supervision, but for the parents out there, and I will say the majority of those cases are at elementary schools, they’re younger children.

However, I tell people, I was just telling my son this, he’s got his learner’s permit, and I told him, always assume the other driver is drunk, high, having a stroke, a terrible driver, on the phone, what have you. Because we had a very severe gang situation, our community, and it got to the point where we had six drive-by shootings on city streets adjacent to our schools during school hours, not school shootings, but gang shootings right next to the school, which of course are quite a concern. So, we were sworn in as city police officer, we were school district police, and we started doing license and insurance checkpoints near our high schools and middle schools at dismissal. 

I told my son, when we first started, one out of six drivers, this is not pulling people over, this is, I’m at a checkpoint, you pull up and I say, I need to see the proof of insurance and license. One in six people we stopped went to jail, okay? And these are DUI, driving us to spend a license, habitual violator, people wanted for murder, people wanted for drugs, different things, gun charges for convicted felons, drugs in the car.

And what I’m getting at is most of these folks were gang members and so, forth. And I was astounded at the drunk drivers we were getting at 215PM or 330PM in the afternoon near Middle or High Schools.

And I remember one guy, he said, he was driving a habitual violator, So, it’s a felony to drive a car, right? And he said, I got to compliment you guys, I’ve been driving like this for several years,

I’ve never been caught because the city police and Sheriff’s Department do the checkpoints at night. And if I see blue lights flashing anywhere ahead of me, I immediately turn it, right?

And he said, they don’t ever do these in the daytime. So, I just, you know, because we do them like they do, where you come around the corner and there we are. And I was just staggered by how many drunk drivers we were getting at, but these are people typically with an alcohol problem, but we were also getting students, you know? And we had one young man that was intoxicated, you know, he cut school, they, what we would get, they would go somewhere, get drunk and come back to pick up a friend or for some other reason. And this young man lost control of his car and narrowly missed hitting people and went across two lanes, sports without hitting another car, and went through a chain-link fence onto a football field. You know, so, you know, again, and you know, you mentioned this before the call about alcohol poisoning, which is something I had never heard of till I became a university police officer. And I’ll tell you, I failed the life-saving, you know, Red Cross, you know, lifeguard course, but I did pass, you know, back then they didn’t have AED, but I passed CPR and rescue breathing.

 It was the last course in the police academy. I graduated on a Friday, and then I went to work, if I remember right, and our police department was at the ground level of a building with the infirmary with a nurse 24-7.

And my partner and I were coming out of the police department and these guys come up and they’re carrying this girl, I’ll never forget, she’s covered with vomit and she’s unconscious and they’re carrying her and they’re all drunk and they’re going, “come on Stephanie, breathe, come on, breathe”. I said, she’s not breathing and they go, no. So, I told my partner, call an ambulance, call the nurse. I started doing rescue breathing and I brought her back twice. And then the ambulance showed up and they said, you know, this girl would have died. And then I found out later it was alcohol poisoning. And then on another occasion, some, this was a fraternity party.

And this second occasion was another, one of our better fraternities we rarely had trouble with. And they, I’ll never forget this. They come up with a pickup truck with this kid in a wheelchair unconscious. I don’t know where they got the wheelchair, but he had passed out, it was alcohol poisoning. And luckily, they were ROTC cadets and they had done rescue breathing on him. And, you know, they saved him. And he actually later, because of that event actually, became a police officer. You know, and I remember him telling me about, I just had no idea that you could die from drinking too much. So, you know, a lot of people aren’t aware of these things.

And that again, is why, you know, what we call the comprehensive all hazards approach is So, important. We don’t just focus on what’s in the news. We look at all that data and look at what is killing people and causing, you know, serious life, altering, you know, injuries and so, forth. So, again, I’m sorry to text along with these stories. I just think it helps people remember the points. 

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

So, vital. And that’s why I think the integrated approach we’ve addressing how the brain, the heart, the lungs all work together.  How catastrophic events require what we call bystander rescue care. We always say the “heart of the matter is the heart of the matter”, right?

The heart’s moving the oxygen around in the blood and it’s got to go through the lungs and keep the brain working.  And so we think it is absolutely vital to be able to address this.

This is why rising freshmen – need to understand this. It is important that they understand what’s going to happen when they hit high school,  So many kids have new independence. Someone throws them the car keys and all of a sudden people are drinking at a party and they’re freshmen.  It’s funny to watch a freshman get drunk and they have no idea what that means.

The last topic really is bullying and suicide kind of together, you know? We know there’s kind of a continuum.

We know that social media is causing terrible isolation, outrage porn, call it outrage porn, you know? The things that are most sticky for people to watch are things that make them more depressed if they’re depressed or make them more outraged. So, many addictive things that are really focused on our kids these days. And so, can you help us understand, you know, cyber bullying, bullying, and then the whole suicide continuum?

Speaker: Michael Dorn

Yeah, so, you know my backstory. So, you know, I had a very troubled childhood. I was raped when I was in the second grade by two teenage boys, not at school, but in the woods near my home.

We lived in New York. We moved to Alabama and the bullying was very severe. Fortunately, a teacher there recognized that I couldn’t read or tie my shoes. She pushed and at first it wouldn’t test me for disabilities because we had not lived in Alabama for a year and she pushed.

I was tested diagnosed with dyslexia. My parents were told I would never finish high school, never learn to read on an adult level, but the same teacher pushed to get me a two week, a scholarship to a two-week program for dyslexic children at George Wallace Junior College. And I was reading college level by fifth grade. I still can’t tie a neck tie. It drives my wife and son nuts, but I have to use a calculator to calculate lunch tip. I can’t do math. I tell people, it’s a gift in some way. 

That’s how I’ve written 28 books. Now that I know how to read, I read voraciously, and I can write voraciously. 

I can’t speak for everybody, but I have been raped and I have been bullied. And in my particular case, the bullying so severe, it was much worse to me than being raped.

I mean, it was that bad. And I would say that from the seventh grade until not long before I graduated, I thought about killing myself almost every day. I was very depressed, barely crawled out of high school.

Was very blessed though, to become a police officer at the age of 18 at Merce University, where back then you could go to school free. I still didn’t want to go because I hate school So, much, but after two years,

I started taking classes. I graduated 12th in my class. I’ve got a bachelor’s and a master’s all because of that teacher in Dothan, Alabama. People at the Boys and Girls Clubs, my priests, Boy Scout leaders, all those other adults that impacted me. And a couple of points I make to people is that, and I will say you got to be careful because I’m on my third federal civil action where the plaintiffs are alleging suicide and they’re alleging school officials being, at least a contributing factor. We typically, the allegations of all bullying and a failure to do proper suicide screening and training. So, you go back to Steve Satterlee’s data, and I was a little stunned at this. So, the Justice Department data indicates that twice as many people die from suicide – staff and students on K-12 campuses, ours are killed by active shooters, not murdered, but killed specifically by active shooters, twice as many. That’s suicide at school. I can tell you that, I’m not, for example, a suicide ologist.

So, I don’t get as many calls on those cases probably as a lot of those folks do, but lawsuits against school districts, and especially non-public schools that don’t have qualified immunity, alleging a relationship between bullying at school and suicide are very common. Now I will tell you the first two cases I worked, – and when you’re an expert witness, you’re hired by one side, but your obligation is to the court. So, it’s very common for me actually to tell an attorney something like, well, I’ve reviewed your case. If you want me to write a report, I will. I mean, testify I will, but I’ll be the best expert the other side didn’t have to hire because you’re in bad shape, either plaintiff or defense counsel. That’s not what they wanna hear, but that’s my obligation, regardless who hires me, right?

I will tell you the case I’m working right now. I don’t have all the information for the last four or five days. I’ve read probably three- or four-inches worth of documents, and it is pretty compelling that that case probably had a great deal to do with both of those things, bullying, involving religion in this case, and also the failure of the district to properly train people, suicide screen, when they have, there were indications clearly that the young man talked about suicide, right, and suicide in different ways prior to the suicide. So, I caution people, be careful. You know, when you see on the news that somebody committed suicide because of bullying, having worked some of those, they often look very different when you work the case. I will tell you though, there are cases, shootings and suicides that I’ve been involved with that it’s pretty clear there’s a connection, right?

So, one of the things is, you and I’ve talked about this, you know, when you look at the statistics, you know, suicide risk, it is one of the leading causes of death, or, you know, especially high school age students, college students, you know, and there are various differences in data and so, forth, but it’s a serious risk. On that point, and I want to go back to everything else we’ve talked about, what you’re doing and what we’re talking about are very important for parents to help protect their child. I also you know, we recently rewrote our active shooter training programs, or Active Assailant, we refer to it, for the largest web training company for school safety in the United States, and, you know, we just updated the course, we just wrote new courses for middle school and another course for high school age kids, and our Active Assailant Training, more of it is about how to prevent it and how to recognize that an attack may be about to occur, not waiting till you hear gunfire, like Run-Hide-Fight teaches you what to do once somebody, you see a gun, hear a gun, or somebody tells you somebody’s shooting. There are usually indicators right before an attack, So, those are, you know, what we call pre-attack indicators, you have in the vector’s terminology, expert in the field. So, you know, we focus a lot on what students and staff can do to recognize students or other individuals who are on a “pathway to violence”, as we call it, and I will tell you this, I would say that the likelihood, in my experience, that if a youth goes through the types of training that you’ve laid out, you know, the Stop-the-Bleed, you know, the overdose, you know, the CPR, rescue breathing, all those things, I would say that the chances of the average individual, let’s say that they’re 15 or 16, and they get those types of training, I would tell you that from my personal and professional experience, the chances that that person would go through life and live to be, say, 60, and not save another person’s life, I’d say it’s almost remote. I would say that the chances are better than not that they’re going to save a life someday.

So, aside from having your student or your child go through something like this for their safety, is very important, but I would tell you, like your son, you know, and the other young people that, you know, you’ve talked about using the type of training, and this is the conversation.  I’m 62 now, and my younger son’s 15 and I’ve said you need to do this CPR training at Scouts, you need to do the Stop-the-Bleed. I’ve got the tourniquets and all that stuff, I carry in our vehicles, but I’ve even, you know, had been looking at buying an AED from my house. I’ll never forget, when AEDs were very new to law enforcement agencies, putting them in patrol cars, the first police chief to put AEDs in his department’s patrol cars and buy AEDs. It was very controversial back then and I was teaching for a group called Law Enforcement Television Network and I happened to be out there. They were taping my son and my older son and I about school shootings, and then they were talking about this Chief. He had to push really hard. Remember, this is a long time ago and what did the people think? You’ll shock people with them, and you’ll kill people with them, all those, you know, rumors and stuff that aren’t true, and do you know who the first person they saved with an AED was?

The Chief of Police retired. He was fairly young – I don’t think he was even 60. He retired and like within a week or two, he had a heart episode. Someone called 911 and one of his own patrol officers got there before the ambulances. He used the AED to save his life and he was the first saved by a police officer in the United States.  Where they put them (AEDs) in the patrol cars and trained their folks. I think about that, I’m like, you know. I’m 60 plus years old, and I’ve lost some friends already. So, I’m telling my son, hey, you know, you might be around, but I need some help.

You’ve got a good idea. I go back to what I said earlier, I mean, if you have 1,000 – 4,000 young people go through these types of training programs, it would be hard to calculate over the next 30 or 40 years how many people would be saved. You know in our earlier discussion about Dr. Heimlich, the interview I heard with him at that point like 10,000 people had been saved. He had never saved anybody. When they asked him in the interviews he said “I’ve never used it”. He’d been present and seen other people use it before he could get to the victim. When you told me, it was like some 100,000 saves later, he’s in an elder care facility, and he finally got to save somebody, using what he developed, 30, 40, what, 50 years earlier? You know, as much tragedy as we’re exposed to, I just see these instances. Like those you’ve described to me around the world, where a school bus driver, a teacher, a custodian, a high school kid, you know, saves a life. A fellow speaker of mine is a motivational speaker – he’s a real good guy and was his 70s, He was somewhere presenting and he had a sudden cardiac arrest in front of like 300 people. The building (school) principle saved his life. There are very common success stories that a lot of people don’t hear about. 

Speaker: Dr. Charles Denham

So, I want to thank you personally for your contribution to saving my son’s life, because his life has been saved three times. Three times. Through cardiac screening, because we made it part of our program. Last summer, I had to save him with Heimlich, and if I hadn’t been teaching it through Med Tac, that wouldn’t have happened. And because he had done the rescue diver course (PADI Certification) with me and had learned how to keep his head in a stressful situation. We always say “we never rise to the level of our knowledge, we fall to the level of our training”.  I think the rescue diver approach kept him from losing his cool when he couldn’t get air. I go back to our conversation in 2015, when I got you at your office, you said, “I don’t know how you picked today, but I don’t have anything on my schedule and you said, I’m really frustrated. Do you mind if I unload on you, because no one’s listening to me”.

You said: “no one’s listening to me about the things other than active shooter events”. And I said, may I record it? We had a two-hour phone call and I just want to personally thank you for what you’ve done not just for my family, but all the families that are touched by the work since 2015. I just want to thank you, Michael. You are so dedicated, you are cause driven, and our country is a better place because of you.

Speaker: Michael Dorn

Well, it’s the same to you, sir. It’s just a blessing to be able to interact with you, and I appreciate all the work you’re doing. I hope this is helpful to folks.