Chapter 8: Axis of Evil
Jan 18 2001: Wolfgang again emails Governor Bush. He attaches two articles from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which are not included in the state’s email archives, but probably had to do with tip lines given the context of the email:
From: Wolfgang Halbig
To: Jeb Bush
1/18/2001 9:20:31 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.htm
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.htm
I am forwarding this article to you for your review. We in Florida need to
take a serious look at this issue. I conduct safety and security assessments
across this country, it allows me the opportunity to interview students from
Florida to California. It is amazing what you learn when you LISTEN to our
students. I hope this article will open discussion between you and our
Department of Education. Students are bored and getting into trouble.
Wolfgang W. Halbig
February 16, 2001 – Halbig writes a letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, in response to an article about “tip lines.” Wolf’s critique is to push the “hotlines” he sells as a better product, citing his credentials as a school safety expert. [LINK]
'What's my line?'
School districts in your area have been sold a bill of goods with "tiplines" (article, Feb. 8). It will not be a long-term effective program students buy into.
Students must be taught to break the code of silence. By calling this hot line (called something like "Save-a-Friend," not a "tipline"), they can save a friend in trouble. They must know they are doing the right thing by picking up the phone or even telling a teacher, parent or counselor.
The common denominator in every tragic school shooting or incidents that have been prevented was someone having the courage to do the right thing.
National Institute for School and
March 5 2001: Wolfgang Halbig’s son Erik Halbig cited for driving with a suspended license, as well as failure to obey a traffic control device (stoplight, etc.)
Question #11 Wolfgang MUST answer: Aren’t you a former driver’s education teacher and Florida state trooper? Why didn’t you instill in him any respect for safe driving, given the horrors you supposedly witnessed on Florida’s roadways? Why did you allow your son to violate the law like this?
March 14, 2001: Aspen Realty Associates, Inc. is registered as a Domestic Profit corporation in the state of New Mexico. Kathleen S. Halbig serves as its secretary and treasurer.
March 23, 2001 LA Times article about school shooting threats online, Halbig is quoted http://articles.latimes.com/2001/mar/23/news/mn-41698
This is just the beginning," said Halbig, of the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety. "The Internet grows by leaps and bounds," he said. "And we better have the procedures in place to deal with it."
May 3, 2001: Wolfgang Halbig’s son Erik Halbig is arrested, apparently while drunk (underage) and in possession of marijuana. Again, he is found to be driving with a suspended license [LINK]
May 17 2001: “Workshop will focus on school safety report” – An article published in the Gainesville Sun observes the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety in middle of transitioning to the second step of Wolfgang’s emerging school safety strategy:
In Alachua County, NISWS conducted a “safety audit,” and sure enough found abundant security lapses. Now, after the inspection’s “safety report” has identified deficiencies/opportunities at the county’s schools, the “workshop” pitches costly solutions offered by Wolfgang and/or his associates. [LINK]
Now, NISWS completes their “report,” a list of recommendations to address the security issues found in the audit. NISWS also sells solutions to these problems that they identified.
May 30, 2001: The Gainesville Sun reports: “School Safety Study Finds District Lacking” – In a follow-up from the Gainesville Sun, Halbig is now Ron Davis’s “consultant” with the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety. Davis/Halbig find serious safety concern at six campuses, for which they recommend extensive safety training for teams of teachers. Also, name tags. [LINK]
Less than a month ago, a consultant for the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety walked through the front doors of Lincoln Middle School two hours before the first bell rang at 8:55am, easily making his way through unlocked classrooms, hallways, the front office, cafeteria, kitchen, and restrooms.
No one but cafeteria employees questions his presence at the school.
"We try to come through a wooded area and make it all the way to the bathroom unchallenged, because that's the profile that pedophiles follow," consultant Ron Davis said during a three-hour work-shop Tuesday at the Alachua County School Board.
Citing a serious lack of adult supervision on at least six Alachua County school campuses, the consultants recommended that School Board members consider issuing photo identification cards for teachers, assembling "safe teams" of a dozen teachers and administrators on each campus to be experts on safety procedures, and providing intensive training to help teachers and administrators face increasingly violent schoolyard settings.
September 6, 2001 – Wolfgang attends a conference “Voices from the Field”
September 11, 2001: 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. In his 2012 deposition, Wolfgang would claim that the shift in national focus after this event led to money for school safety companies becoming scarce.
September 16, 2001: Security Experts Weigh Changes – Wolfgang is quoted in an Orlando Sun article about the changes to workplace safety and security after 9/11. [TEXT]
Americans are used to coming and going freely at their offices and government buildings, confronting generally modest, if any, security measures. But anxiety since the attack has reminded everyone just how different things could be.
"I think we're very lax,'' said Wolfgang Halbig, who heads a security consulting company in Lake Mary that specializes in school and workplace safety. "No matter where I go, I am never challenged. If I dress professionally, I can go wherever I want.''
Basic security measures, such as ID badges and visitor sign-in sheets, are often fraught with potential security lapses, Halbig said. For example, a visitor at Orange County School District headquarters must sign in and get a badge. But then he has free rein of the nine-story building, Halbig said. […]
But Halbig said heightened security does not have to be intrusive or expensive. Companies can train all employees to be vigilant about security risks, he said. It may mean not letting the person behind you slip into the building without a badge, or looking for jittery behavior in a visitor, he said.
"It doesn't cost a lot of money. It's raising the level of awareness,'' he said.
September 17 2001: (RIGHT) Wolfgang registers the domestic profit corporation “NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR SCHOOL AND WORKPLACE SAFETY INC.” Ron Davis also serves as president of this corporation..
October 31, 2001: Workplace Safety must be everybody’s job – [LINK]
Wolfgang W. Halbig, executive director of the Heathrow, Fla.-based National Institute for School and Workplace Safety (nisws.com), says employers:
– Should not assume security technology, such as closed-circuit cameras, is adequate. "Cameras can establish a false sense of security," Halbig said.
– Should be especially vigilant at the front desk or lobby.
– Should train all employees–not just guards–in all aspects of safety.
– Should emphasize respect for diversity while providing a safe way for employees to report concerns.
"We can prevent a lot of stuff from happening if we just open up our eyes and look around us," Halbig said.
November, 2001 – Oregon presentation:
November 13, 2001 : Wolfgang attends the “Voices from the Field: Working Together for Safe and Secure Schools” Summit on School Safety in Jacksonville, FL (so does Ron Davis) http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED471877.pdf
November 14 2001: registers “The Real Hero Foundation, Inc”
November 27, 2001 : a PR release from NISWS [LINK]
Parent Negligence Endangers School Children, Says National Institute for School and Workplace Safety.
HEATHROW, Fla. — Parents are endangering their children's safety and compromising school district security by dropping children off at school early or picking them up too late.
Nationwide school safety and security assessments performed by Wolfgang W. Halbig, Executive Director of the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety, reveal children being dropped off on school campuses up to seventy minutes before the start of classes.
Halbig cited the October 15, 2001 sexual assault of a 13-year-old Tucson, AZ, middle school student whose mother dropped the child off at 7:00 AM to complete her homework. Students are not allowed into campus buildings until 8:25 AM. The girl was sexually assaulted in a school bathroom.
Calling it a national safety and security crisis, Halbig noted the incident is not isolated. He said while school districts are trying to keep security risks as low as possible, parents contribute to school safety problems when children are on-campus before or after school hours. He added that threats to children during those hours include child custody abductions, bullying and harassment.
"This safety alert is to get parents to be more responsible by not placing school districts at risk," Halbig said. "Parents need to be true partners with their school systems in protecting their children."
Halbig is a nationally recognized expert on school safety and security issues. NISWS provides school districts with preventive measures to protect school districts against possible litigation.
About National Institute for School and Workplace Safety: NISWS (http://www.nisws.com/) offers one-on-one consulting, seminars, hotlines, and criminal database programs for schools, businesses, corporations and law enforcement agencies that are prevention driven, not incident driven.
November 30 2001 : Another press release from NISWS shows Wolfgang struggling to adjust to the post-9/11 shifts in their industry, as he tries to connect school safety to the terrorist attacks. He also admonishes parents to keep their firearms secured, perhaps thinking back to when his own firearm was stolen by a minor and brought to a school. [LINK]
Threat of Guns in Schools Escalates Since 9-11 Warns National Institute for School and Workplace Safety
HEATHROW, Fla., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ — Escalating gun sales since The September 11th terrorist attacks threaten the safety and security of schools across the United States, according to Wolfgang W. Halbig, Executive Director of the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety.
An NISWS survey of law enforcement officials and gun shops in five states shows sales up from fifty percent to two hundred percent in many areas since the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Many of these weapons are going to first-time gun owners who lack training about proper use and storage.
[…] Now more than ever, in light of these alarming statistics, parents and everyone in the community should make certain that guns are properly stored and that gun locks are used on all weapons, said Halbig. He also encouraged the use of school safety hotlines by parents and students to report threats or suspicious activity. "Student silence is our worst enemy," Halbig said, "when less than half of students say they would tell an adult if they heard a student talking about shooting someone at school."
Halbig, a former law enforcement office and educator, is a nationally recognized expert on school safety and security issues.
About National Institute for School and Workplace Safety: NISWS (www.nisws.com) provides school districts with proven solutions to protect students, faculty, and staff and prevent litigation. NISWS offers one-on-one consulting, seminars, hotlines, and criminal database programs for schools, businesses, corporations and law enforcement agencies that are prevention-driven, not incident-driven.
January 27 2002: Forum stresses safety in schools – Wolfgang Halbig delivers a school safety presentation in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Presenter Wolfgang W. Halbig, executive director of the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety in Orlando, Fla., was brought to the group by Sonitrol Corp.
Employees from area school districts whose buildings are protected by Sonitrol equipment were invited. Participants included administrators, counselors, police officers and custodians from Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, West Springfield, Westfield, Ludlow, Greenfield and several northern Connecticut towns.
Halbig peppered his talk with real stories, such as the walkout and the fight, and urged districts to make sure every employee — and every student — is involved in keeping schools safe.
"Kids are ready to step up and take ownership. They only need to be invited," he said.
Halbig, a former Florida state trooper and school administrator, advised them to produce a safety plan that will apply to every school in their district, and update it yearly. And every office worker must know how to stop the ringing of the bells that alert students to change classes. If there is a danger in the halls, officials will want the students to stay in their classes.
April 24, 2002: Wolfgang files a lien against Allen and Judy Flood, in the amount of $270,000 for the property at Towers Ten Condominiums unit 2201 (see Nov 2002 for outcome.)
(RIGHT: Towers Ten Condominiums, 3425 S Atlantic Ave. Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118)
June 27, 2002: “Forum Stresses Safety In Schools” http://www.masslive.com/news/parchives/ae627vio.html
SPRINGFIELD — It's near the end of first lunch in the school cafeteria and students are riled enough over their new schedules to storm out of the building in protest, all 600 of them.
How does the assistant principal respond?
The school custodian turns a hallway corner to stumble onto a fierce fight involving several students and a few dozen young witnesses.
What's the right thing to do?
Those questions were met with silence yesterday at a daylong seminar at Central High School, where 200 women and men from 15 school districts got together to learn a few things about school safety and security.
Presenter Wolfgang W. Halbig, executive director of the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety in Orlando, Fla., was brought to the group by Sonitrol Corp.
Employees from area school districts whose buildings are protected by Sonitrol equipment were invited. Participants included administrators, counselors, police officers and custodians from Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, West Springfield, Westfield, Ludlow, Greenfield and several northern Connecticut towns
July 2, 2002 – Erik Halbig is once again cited for driving without a valid license. http://www.seminoleclerk.org/CriminalDocket/case_detail.jsp?CaseNo=592002MM006348A
November 8, 2002: a hearing is scheduled for the lien Halbig filed against the Floods.
November 22, 2002: Wolfgang Halbig’s lien against the Floods for the Towers Ten condominium is found to be “invalid, void and of no legal effect.”
December 15, 2002: Wolfang’s son Erik Halbig is arrested for obstructing police, resisting arrest. http://www.seminoleclerk.org/CriminalDocket/case_detail.jsp?CaseNo=592012CF003702A
December 21, 2002: Wolfgang once again emails Governor Jeb Bush, begging for a job. It’s not clear why he wants “the responsibility of teaching and mentoring the most difficult students” when his success in this respect (when raising his own child, no less) was evident in arrest records less than a week before:
From: Wolfgang Halbig
To: [email protected]
Date: 12/21/2002 4:01:26 AM
Subject: Safe Schools Information Sharing Technology Program
I served as the school principal at an alternative high school called Project Excel In Seminole County, Florida. This is a second chance school for students who were expelled. As a naturalized citizen from another country who couldn't speak a word of English, and still has a hard time sometimes. I wanted the responsibility of teaching and mentoring the most difficult students that others labeled as losers.
I was an at-risk child in the United States, I never knew who my father was. Please consider allowing me to work with your administration, whether helping Mr. Regier or on your educational staff. My passion and honesty is crystal clear. Mr. Charlie Crist the former commissioner of Education, Mr. Jim King President of the Florida Senate has seen a part of my presentations. I would also recommend former Senate President Toni Jennings as someone who would support my hopes in your consideration. As a former Florida State Trooper who was the first college graduate to enter the academy in Tallahassee, and leave as the class president not too bad being an at-risk child, no father as a role model and always destroying the English language. Please give me a chance, just as someone once had faith in you. You will not be disappointed in my work ethics and the passion for children and education.
Happy Holidays to you and your family.
February 26, 2003 – Domestic violence can reach beyond the home front – Wolfgang is quoted in an article on the effect of spousal abuse on workplace safety. He recommends more hotlines. [LINK]
Wolfgang Halbig, executive director of the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety, believes that most employers are behind the curve. In his view: "If you were to ask most companies to see their safety plan–meaning a comprehensive safety and security plan–they wouldn't have it. Corporate America doesn't want to spend the money on training until there's litigation. Instead, it's `Let's put a guard outside with a gun.' So employees haven't been trained to see the red flags that could prevent incidents."
For example, says Halbig, a small step such as requiring visitors to print, not sign, their names before gaining access to offices can head off trouble. Someone in an agitated or angry state of mind will likely resist having to slow down long enough to print his name, at which point his entry can be delayed (or denied) so that more questions can be asked.
He also suggests having an employee hot line for workers to report potential dangers and encouraging employees to share personal problems if they are having a hard time dealing with them. Wells says putting up posters referring employees to outside resources that help victims of domestic violence is another small measure firms can take.
March 6, 2003: Crime-stat Discrepancies At Schools Concern Parents – [LINK]
"Somebody needs to make sure everybody in the state is on the same page," said Wolfgang Halbig, executive director of the Orlando-based National Institute for School and Workplace Safety.
“Legislators need good valid data when they're looking at how to change laws that relate to discipline."
March 15, 2003: Wolfgang delivers a “training seminar” at a Catholic church in Orlando.
Halbig jokes that “when you raise your right hand, to take the oath of office… don’t you take oath of poverty? We are never, ever going to get rich in this profession!”
Wolfgang pushes hard for bringing police to school campuses, and pitches the NISWS “hotline” system. Near the end the archived footage of this event, a “detective” starts endorsing an audio surveillance package, exactly the technology that Sonitrol markets, with Wolfgang’s endorsement.
"I'm always truthful."
"I did grow up in Avon Park, Florida. But I also want you to know this today: when you look at me – and I'm mad as can be to this day – [inaudible] I never knew who my father was. And I'm angry."
"The number one problem, that we've got to get ahold of, is the lack of respect that the young people have towards adults."
"Parents don't think they need to sign it at schools. They just walk right in. They leave nasty messages on our phone. I'll tell you what, my wife is a middle school teacher, she is ready to quit. I will tell you. Teacher of the year! She is ready to walk away."
"You might be that one teacher who could save my son. My son got in trouble for drugs. If it weren't for the teacher and school counselor who save my kid, he'd be dead."
"This state trooper says: let me show you how we do it in Miami, Florida. The biggest mistake I ever made, I will never ever let anybody else tell me how to do my job."
At one point Wolf says, gesturing to someone in the back of the room, “and I also wanna thank Sonitrol’s Bill Ford for sponsoring this workshop.” Bill Ford then shown standing at the back wall. (RIGHT)
August 22, 2003: Petition drive seeks to teach lawmakers a school lesson
An AP Report out of Orlando reveals that Wolfgang is part of a group collecting signatures to introduce a constitutional amendment that would “ force Florida lawmakers to work three days a year as a substitute teacher and one as a bus monitor.” [LINK]
Wolfgang Halbig says he does not expect his idea to get a good reception in Tallahassee. He plans to enlist the help of teachers unions, parent organizations and other groups to get the nearly half million signatures needed to get the measure on the fall 2004 ballot. Under the plan, lawmakers would spend one day each in an elementary, middle and high school. A fourth day would be spent riding school buses.
The effort is noted to have been initiated by the “Real Hero Foundation,” out of Apopka.
August 23 2003: Sign Here to make FL Nuttier – A St. Petersburg-Times editorial makes note of the various proposals vying for a spot on the upcoming election ballot. In a curious moment, Halbig suggests that part of the benefit of his proposed program would be that it would require all lawmakers to be fingerprinted and tested for illegal drugs: [LINK]
One might wonder exactly what lawmakers would teach our children. Maybe the art of holding out a tin cup and begging money from every passerby or filing bills that benefit their biggest campaign donors.
But Wolfgang Halbig, an Apopka man who formed the Real Hero Foundation to back the teaching amendment, sees another benefit: Lawmakers would have to be fingerprinted and drug-tested to be substitutes.
"If they could see teachers on a daily basis and watch what they have to do from the time the kids show up, it's almost a babysitting service instead of teaching," says Halbig, a former teacher, principal and nationally recognized expert on school safety.
He hopes to recruit help from teacher unions, parents and others as he sets out to collect the 488,722 signatures he needs to get the measure on the ballot. Halbig says he got the idea from U.S. Sen. Bob Graham's work days.
April 25, 2003: Can we make our schools more secure
Rather than rely solely on electronic hardware and gadgets, school officials should be watching students for a change in behavior, said Wolfgang Halbig, president of the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety in Maitland, Fla.
Halbig, who conducted a workshop for Harrisburg School District 1 1/2 years ago on ways to get students to speak up about violence, encourages the creation of 24-hour anonymous tip lines, so students can report threats without fearing retribution.
August 24, 2003: Proposed Amendment Aims To Teach Legislators A Lesson – more coverage of the Real Hero Foundation’s proposed amendment to require lawmakers to substitute teach. [LINK]
“I want them to see how disrespectful so many kids are to their teachers. They're going to have kids who tell them where to go. You're going to see legislators ask if it's safe," said security consultant Wolfgang Halbig, who launched the initiative.
"You're going to see every one of them [legislators] say it's a bad idea," he added.
September 2, 2003: Bad company – a short editorial dismisses the Real Hero Foundation's amendment as one that "would only further trivialize Florida's constitution.":[LINK]
October 27, 2003: Save-A-Friend Hotline Program Signs Big Maryland School District. PR Release from NISWS announces they have received a “commitment” from the Anne Arundel (Maryland) school district for a hotline. It is the first documented relationship between Anne Arundel Schools and NISWS, a relationship that would soon grow more significant. [LINK]
The National Institute for School and Workplace Safety (OTC Pink Sheets:NIFW) has received a commitment from Anne Arundel School District to implement NISWS' Save-A-Friend Hotline program. This will be the largest school district to adopt this innovative hotline program that focuses on saving children, not drugs, weapons, and crimes like its many competitors. In Florida, the SAF hotline in one small county receives over 150 calls a year, 40 more than the statewide BE BRAVE hotline that operates in 39 counties and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars more to operate.
Wolfgang Halbig, executive director of NISWS, and a former state trooper and school safety director says: "We should not be judged on how many children we put into jail, but how many lives we save." As the driving force behind the hotline, he wants schools to focus on helping children through the difficult school years by having an anonymous place they can call and get help on suicide, abuse, threats, intimidation and bullying. "This is a live voice service whose job it is to ask 'How can I help your friend' not how can we put more kids in jail," adds Mr. Halbig.
It is NISWS' goal to add 100 new school districts a year to its Save-A-Friend hotline services, one school district at a time. Currently there are over 16,000 school districts in the U.S.
November 10, 2003: National Institute for School and Workplace Safety: The Safe School Initiative Funds Begin to Flow. Another press release from NISWS, seemingly seeking to encourage readers the school safety cash drought is over. [LINK]
HEATHROW, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 10, 2003
The state and federal funds targeted to school districts for the purpose of providing a safer academic environment for all students have reached over $2.5 billion in 2003. With funding coming from the No Child Left Behind Act, Homeland Security, Department of Justice and the Department of Education, educators are now able to proactively examine and improve their safety and security programs without stressing the local budgets.
In a recent presentation to 300 School Resource Officers and Principals put on by the Justice Department's COPS program, Wolfgang Halbig, Executive Director of NISWS, asked the audience: "How do you know how or what to spend the money on if you don't first determine what your problems are? Accountability and getting the best bang for the buck are the keys to a well executed Safe School Plan, and reducing the negligence liability of the school district."
NISWS has received over 20 calls from recently funded school districts (average grant over $500,000) and been invited to speak at numerous conferences as the educators determine how to spend these targeted funds in their schools. The highest demand is for the NISWS School Safety Plan and Emergency Management Plan that are an essential first step in implementing a viable safety or security program. NISWS also conducts independent safety assessments and is often asked to train local school staff in the proper method to conduct a school safety audit.
December 19, 2003: Wolfgang is granted power of attorney status for his mother.
January 2004: Security Magazine, a trade publication, references Wolfgang Halbig, The Diocese of Orlando, and Sonitrol in its “best practices” column, describing the presentation Wolfgang delivered..
The Diocese of Orlando (Fla.) is one of many educational organizations throughout the country that has participated in school safety workshops aimed at reducing risk, which are sponsored by Alexandria, Va.-based Sonitrol, part of the Tyco Fire & Security family. Sonitrol conducted two different workshops for the diocese: one for principals and assistant principals of the organization’s 35 Catholic schools, and a second for the 900 diocesan school employees. The outcome: a safe-school committee, which drafted an emergency-management plan with a quick-reference guide for each of the classrooms within the school district. “The key to making schools safe is to reduce risk on a daily basis,” says Wolfgang Halbig, executive director at the National Institute for School and Workplace Safety.
February 6, 2004: Are Schools Safe Places? [LINK]
Wolfgang Halbig, head of the Orlando-based National Institute for School and Workplace Safety, said schools don't need to lock bathrooms. Just check them.
"That's where the kids go to harass, bully and threaten," he said. "All you have to do is walk in and do a cursory look. What's it got to take for someone to pay attention? You must provide adequate supervision at all times."
March 16 2004: PR from National Institute for School and Workplace Safety announces that a more lucrative Anne Arundel deal has been signed, suggesting an imminent financial windfall.
NISWS Lands Important Contract.
“”The National Institute for School and Workplace Safety, Inc. (OTC Pink Sheets: NIFW), a Heathrow- based publicly traded company specializing in school safety and security issues, just received a $395,000 one-year contract to assess 122 schools and provide training for bus drivers, administrators, teachers, and staff in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. NISWS was selected over 15 national security companies that had bid on the project. The company is also providing the County with the "Save-A-Friend" Hotline Service and a character education program called "Break the Code of Silence."
According to Executive Director Wolfgang Halbig: "Taking on a project of this magnitude is a big step for the company. NISWS has struggled for five years to prove itself as a leading provider of school safety and security programs. Our successful bid in such a large school district substantiates our position as an industry leader. Very few companies have the experience in the market that we have pulled together, it is nice to be recognized for our accomplishments."
This one contract will double the revenues generated by the company in its best year of operation in a market misunderstood by many security companies. "Schools must trust you to let you in to help them," says Halbig, the former Security Director for Seminole County Schools. "This is a face-to-face business that has taken us five years to break into the larger school districts. We have worked very hard to build our reputation in over 30 states and 100 of the 17,006 school districts over the last five years; this is our year to shine."