7/7/21—As many students, teachers, and staff prepare to return to school in the fall, health and safety is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Not only are educators preparing to mitigate the spread of COVID variants, but they are also faced with the challenge of making up for the many educational losses of the last year. While school leadership takes on these issues, they still have the already daunting task of stemming violence on their plates.
A study out of Standford published in early 2021 shows that the number of school shootings in the US has more than doubled since Columbine. Author of the paper, Maya Rossin-Slater of Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, estimates that in 2018 and 2019 alone, over 100,000 American children had a shooting take place in their school. Beyond the unimaginable toll of lives lost, the new study also explores the long term effects of trauma on those exposed to these incidents. Even in situations where no one is physically injured, shooting-exposed students are shown to on average be more likely to repeat a grade, less likely to enroll in college, earn a degree, or even graduate high school at all. These students were also less likely to hold jobs as adults, according to the data from those in Texas schools over the past two decades. Shooting-exposed students showed these issues universally, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status.
Alyssa Alhadeff, one of the lives lost during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in 2018, inspired critical legislation that aims to minimize the time between threats being identified at school and law enforcement response. Her parents, who’ve spearheaded this effort, assert that time equals life. Alyssa’s Law calls for silent panic alarms to be installed in schools, that are linked directly to law enforcement. The law has already passed in both New Jersey and Florida, with pending legislation in Texas, Arizona, Nebraska, and New York thus far.
As more schools turn to technology to improve health and safety on their campuses, VOS Systems has developed the AlertTrace Emergency Management system. Using our cutting edge IoT devices, this small, affordable panic button system makes it simple to notify authorities in the event of an emergency. This communication system is designed to improve the outcome of emergencies by enabling faster responses and more effective emergency communication between schools, classrooms, staff, dispatchers, and incident managers.
The AlertTrace Emergency Management system meets all of the criteria for panic button systems outlined in Alyssa’s Law, adhering to nationally recognized industry standards, including those of the National Fire Protection Association and Underwriters Laboratories. With no expensive infrastructure required, the plug-and-play system from AlertTrace is the quick and reliable tool to help keep schools safe. Learn more about how solutions from VOS Systems can work for your school by contacting us today.