Certified Safe Schools, LLC is grateful for the continued support of U.S. Education, defense and corporate attorneys who generously lend their time, experience, expertise and counsel toward the legal soundness of this school safety program.
With over thirty-five years of working with and representing schools and law enforcement, Tom Wheeler, a Principal at CivicPoint LLC, is one of the Nation’s foremost experts in school safety. He was a Senior Advisor to the Federal Commission on School Safety and as such was responsible for working with the four principal agencies and their leadership, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Health & Human Resources, and the Secretary of Education as well as the White House to produce the 2018 Federal Commission on School Safety Report.
He was one of the founding members of the highly regarded Indiana School Safety Specialist’s Academy created in response to the Columbine tragedy. He is also one of the leading advocates in the United States with respect to combating the twin scourges of student drug and opioid abuse and student bullying/suicide. He has written extensively in various publications on these issues and received a variety of awards for his work including the prestigious Burton Award for Legal Achievement co-sponsored by the Library of Congress as well as being a two time winner of the President Benjamin Harrison Writing Award. He has also keynoted hundreds of national, state and local conferences to audiences throughout the United States on school related issues.
Mr. Wheeler’s federal service also includes acting as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Justice. During this time he oversaw ten separate sections, including the Educational Opportunities Section which enforces Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (higher education), the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (English learners), Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (state and local entities, including schools), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin by recipients of federal funds), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex by recipients of federal funds), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability by recipients of federal funds). The Section also represented the Department of Education in lawsuits.
Mr. Wheeler made fighting hate crimes a priority during his time at the Department of Justice, speaking to dozens of groups on human rights, and emphasizing the investigation and prosecution of these crimes during his tenure. He has also spoken extensively on civil rights issues, including appearances on National Public Radio and the BBC as well as for the ABA, the NSBA, the ACLU, NACUA, the ADL and many other diverse organizations.
Mr. Wheeler’s other federal service and positions relating to school safety include the following:
- Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Education on COVID-19 response issues;
- General Counsel to the National Sheriffs’ Association;
- Chair of the Hate Crimes Sub-Committee for the Federal Violent Crime Reduction Task Force;
- Board Member, National School Boards’ Association;
- Chairman, 3,000 member Council of School Attorneys.
During his thirty-five years of practice Mr. Wheeler has acted as counselor to more than a thousand schools and law enforcement entities throughout the United States. He has tried more than a hundred school-related cases and assisted in evaluating and resolving thousands more.
Judge Simmons has over three decades of legal experience. He serves as the Presiding Judge of Municipal Court for the City of Combine, Texas and as Associate Municipal Judge for the City of Seagoville, TX, both in the greater Dallas area. In addition to his municipal court work, Mr. Simmons maintains a highly selective civil law practices concentrating on corporate governance, legal management, civil litigation, and cyber-security.
Mr. Simmons additionally serves as General Counsel for three non-profit corporations and as a mentor for UNT Dallas College of Law students and for new attorneys through the Dallas Bar Association’s Transition to Practice Law Program. Mr. Simmons also serves as a member of the national and state law committee including serving as a member of the State Bar of Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee on General Negligence, Intentional Torts, and Worker’s Compensation.
Mildred K. O’Linn is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP. Ms. O’Linn has an unparalleled background as an attorney and technical expert in peace officer civil liability, training and tactics and the defense of governmental entities. In her 35-year legal career, Ms. O’Linn has been repeatedly recognized for her skills as litigator and in 2009 Ms. O’Linn was accepted as a member of the distinguished American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an award only bestowed upon proven trial attorneys. In 2011 she was inducted into the Litigation Counsel of America as a Senior Fellow, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society representing less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Most recently in 2020, Ms. O’Linn was a featured speaker in the LA-ABOTA Masters in Trial Program in the Civil Rights – Police Misconduct presentation. Since coming to California in 1991, she has served the law enforcement community on a variety of committees and provided training to tens of thousands of peace officers.
In 1992 Ms. O’Linn served as a member of both the California POST Use of Force Committee and as a member of the California Peace Officers’ Association committee to develop a model use of force policy. Between 1992 and 1995, Ms. O’Linn was a member of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Use of Force Training Review Committee and served on the Los Angeles Police Department’s Civilian Martial Arts Advisory Panel in development of the LAPD’s arrest and control curriculum. She has served on numerous additional California POST committees including: Ethical Decision-Making; Officer Involved Shootings; Dog Encounters: Keeping Officers Safe Committee; Learning Domain 20: Use of Force; Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted; the Mental Health Course Development Workshop; the De-escalation Curriculum Development Workshop; and Crowd Management, Intervention, and Control Guidelines. The training concepts she has developed are considered revolutionary and include the Constitutional Law Crate, the Use of Force Equation, the CRISIS Communications Crate and the 835a Anagram. Missy also serves on the PoliceOne Editorial Advisory Board and has published numerous articles on law enforcement related topics.
In 2012, Ms. O’Linn was retained to assist the City of Spokane Washington Use of Force Commission in reviewing the agencies use of force policies and training and their FTO program and then in 2015 served as a consultant in the City’s response to the collaborative reform issues with the federal DOJ. She served on the Los Angeles County Chiefs of Police Public Outreach Committee and on the Legal Affairs Committee and the Professional Development Committee for the Major County Sheriffs of America. Ms. O’Linn has received numerous awards and acknowledgments for excellence in representation and for her contributions to the defense of the law enforcement community from various agencies. In 2005 she was named the Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs Association’s recipient of the Award for Civilian Leadership.
Ms. O’Linn was a police officer for eight years at the Kent State University Police Department. Subsequently, she served as the Legal and Technical Advisor for the Law Enforcement Television Network, Inc. (LETN). In December, 2006 Ms. O’Linn received a Meritorious Service Award from the City of Gretna, Louisiana Police Department for her assistance to law enforcement in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. More recently, the State of California awarded her the California POST Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement Training.
Brett Godfrey has 32 years of trial experience, and an extensive medical, scientific and aerospace background. He is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the highest attorney rating available). He was first listed by Denver’s 5280 Magazine as a Top Colorado Super Lawyer in 2006 and remains so today.
Mr. Godfrey has served as lead counsel in 98 jury trials throughout the United States. His diverse trial experience includes complex commercial claims, product liability, lender liability, fires and explosions, computer liability, class-actions, civil rights, employment discrimination and employment contract disputes, and premises liability. He also has substantial experience in FINRA securities arbitrations and SEC administrative matters. Mr. Godfrey has served as lead appellate counsel in a large number of cases establishing new law in State and Federal court.
Barry Shreiar is a graduate of the University of California at Irvine where he earned a B.A., cum laude, and an M.A. in Philosophy. He went on to earn a J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law. Mr. Shreiar serves as the President of iPerformX, LLC, a company that provides an Adaptive Training Platform driven by Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality Simulation to accelerate performance with pilot training programs for the US Department of Defense. Mr. Shreiar is also the Managing Director and founding Member of Prism Advisers, LLC., a management advisory, consulting, and venture capital organization focusing on emerging growth businesses ($10MM to $250MM in sales).
Mr. Shreiar is a former Managing Director and founding Member of Global Resource Services, LLC, a global protective intelligence consulting firm that specializes in educating and preparing corporate clients, civilians and federal, state, and local law enforcement in threat assessment and planning. He spent nine years with Coss, Shreiar, and Law, attorneys of Newport Beach, California, with a practice limited to merger and acquisition, corporate and real estate representation. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California.
Tonya J. Bond is a Partner at the law firm Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP in Indianapolis where she practices state and federal complex civil and commercial business litigation and counsels corporate, governmental, and nonprofit organizations on risk management, business practices, employment law, and contract negotiations. Tonya has litigated multiple cases involving international defendants. In addition to litigation, Tonya practices appellate work at both the state and federal levels.
Tonya is actively involved in the legal community. She was elected to represent District 11 on the Indiana State Bar Association’s (ISBA’s) Board of Governors and is the Secretary of the ISBA’s Professional Legal Education, Admission and Development Council. Tonya is additionally a valued advisor to the risk management sector and is a frequent speaker on various legal topics including ethics, insurance coverage, risk management, best business practices, and nonprofit issues. Prior to joining Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP, Tonya began her practice as a litigator at Ice Miller LLP, practicing in insurance recovery, premises liability, products liability, and commercial business litigation.