As schools are reopening, different concerns have been raised regarding implementing safety measures to prevent COVID-19 spread. Even more, another particular concern that is back on the rise are mass shootings.
In the last decade, the mass shootings' experienced in the US have deeply damaged our society. The Latest Gun Violence Archive data shows that over 190 incidents of this kind have occurred this year alone. Particularly, at least 29 gunfire incidents have occurred on school grounds, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.
Last week, Yandel, a 12-year-old boy, had perhaps the most terrible experience he has ever had at his school in Rigby, Idaho. “Me and my classmate were just in class with our teacher (we were doing work) and then all of a sudden, there was a loud noise and then there were two more loud noises. Then there was screaming. Our teacher went to check it out, and he found blood.” Yandel said.
According to the investigation, a girl student pulled a gun from her backpack and shot at two students and a custodian. A teacher disarmed and held her until the police arrived. After that, the student was taken into custody.
In order to improve school safety, active shooter drills are a strategy to manage these unfortunate events in school environments. These procedures commonly require being quiet, turning off lights, locking doors and windows, and even simulate an actual active shooter event. However, putting in practice measures for COVID-19 along with conducting security drills can make their implementation difficult. Why? Because there is a need for increasing ventilation and keeping social distance.
Other school safety initiatives, such as Alyssa’s Law, calls for the installation of silent panic emergency alarms in all public schools. The idea is that schools can be directly linked with the law enforcement and first responders in case of emergency. Therefore, the help will get to the scene as quickly as possible; reducing time of response, injuries and saving lives.
Alyssa’s Law passed in New Jersey and Florida in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Moreover, it has been introduced at the federal level and is in progress in states like Arizona, New York and Nebraska.
No parent should feel fear to leave their children at school. No child and employee should feel their life is threatened in any educational environment.
The Kwema Assist™ functionality for emergency alerts
We believe that being prepared during an emergency is the best way to deal with a tragedy similar to a mass shooting. Kwema’s technology adds a layer of security to protect students, educators, and staff when the unexpected occurs. When experiencing a danger, like active shooter incidents, professors, and school staff can quickly activate the Kwema Assist™ feature. By pressing a discrete button integrated into the Kwema Smart Badge™ they activate an emergency protocol . In just three seconds, they can alert the security staff, first responders and 911, maximizing response time and most importantly saving lives.Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash