School shootings give rise to teacher safety smartphone apps

School shootings are sadly something police have to prepare for.

Stats show the number of attacks have only increased over the past 30 years. In that time close to 300 students, teachers and administrators have been murdered.

With the help of smartphone innovation, emergency responders might have a fighting chance in the race against time.

Two apps: School Guard and Hero 911, are intended to assist teachers when it comes to notifying one another of any emergency the encounter including an active shooting scene.

The apps also connect schools to surrounding law enforcement.

“Right now, in a lockdown situation, there’s no method to communicate between principal and teachers,” Glenn Fueston, with Guard 911, said. “They can’t go on loudspeakers and say, ‘hey someone's in the school because you don't want to tip off someone. Our tool is meant to get law enforcement there faster.”

School Guard and Hero 911 were introduced nationally a week ago.

Neither Maryland schools nor law enforcement have signed up – but Edward Clarke with the Maryland Center For School Safety says technological advancements like these have their merits but are not “full proof.”

“I think we have to be open to the changing times,” he said. “Technology has certainly impacted all of our lives. But one size will never fit all in terms of technology. So how can we leverage tech to ensure our schools are as safe as they can be? Will that application really go to enhance safe school operations and in the moment of a crisis -- is that technology beneficial?”


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