DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. – Teachers across Georgia will soon have new technology aimed at keeping students safe during an emergency situation.
Channel 2’s Kristen Holloway was at the Chapel Hill High School in Douglas County, where Gov. Brian Kemp visited to talk about school safety.
Part of the plan includes teachers having a new “crisis alert badge” that can instantly trigger a schoolwide emergency or lockdown.
The lockdown notifies law enforcement immediately, and through the Centegix technology, first responders can see where the alarm was sent from to face the threat.
The system is active at all 35 schools in Douglas County, but they haven’t gone live just yet. Teachers in the district have to be trained on protocol, which will happen this summer.
Each school will have a code for a particular emergency. For instance, if it’s a medical or disciplinary emergency, it’s a “code 2.” When teachers press the badge, they can feel the vibrations in the device.
If the emergency is for an intruder and is considered a “code 4,” teachers press the button four times.
During a news conference, superintendent Trent North told Holloway that having this kind of technology in all schools is huge.
“I can’t emphasize it enough it empowers the teachers to be in control of the safety of their room. They can summon a principal at the push of a button. We know where and we know who … that is powerful technology,” North said.
On Wednesday, Kemp stood in a classroom and watched as one teacher did a lockdown drill for an intruder using the new system.
“What I saw today was fantastic,” Kemp said. “Very simple, but effective, and that’s really what we had in mind when we proposed this in the amended budget, way back before the legislative season started.”
Holloway talked to 11th grader Sydney Glen, who said it’s a sad reality that she and her peers even have to do active shooter drills at all.
“I just hope it’s not my high school,” Glen said. “I know it could happen. I doubt it will, but it’s a possibility. It’s sad seeing students going through all of these things.”
The district plans to make the system active in the fall.
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