LUBBOCK, Texas – For school districts across the country, student safety is of the utmost importance.
“We have to train and be prepared for anything that might happen,” said Frenship Independent School District (FISD) superintendent Dr. Michelle McCord. “These are public schools and parents entrust their children to us every day.”
To be prepared for emergencies, all FISD campuses are using a new crisis solution. The mobile panic alert badge is called ‘CENTEGIX CrisisAlert’. The district is the first to roll out a system like this here on the South Plains.
“Safety and security is everyone’s responsibility, so if we’re going to make that everyone’s responsibility, then everyone needs to be empowered to have a voice, and really, this is their voice,” McCord said.
Each staff member is equipped with a wearable badge. If you click the button three times, it’s going to alert campus administration and security to come help with that incident, but if you continuously click it, then it’s going to put the whole campus on lockdown.
Sadly, school shootings have become far too common. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 130 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, including Monday’s school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee that took the lives of six people.
“I’m excited that we have the resources to have it, but on the other hand, grieved that we have to have the lockdown feature,” McCord said.
The system has only been in place for a few weeks, and many FISD staff members have already called for help using the device.
“We have had a couple of staff alerts where staff needed some help with students,” said North Ridge Elementary School Principal Whitney Ellison. “They click the button three times, and then we came running.”
Ellison said the teachers in need were impressed with how quickly she was able to get there.
“All I have to do is pull up my phone, and a map pops up,” Ellison said. “It shows me the teacher’s initials and what room they’re in. We were there within probably 30 seconds or less when they hit the button.”
The new technology wasn’t cheap, but McCord said you can’t put a price tag on the enhancement of safety and security on campus.
“It really just helps me lay my head down on the pillow at night and sleep a little bit more soundly because I know that we have this in place,” McCord said.
To learn more about CENTEGIX, click here.
For more information about safety measures at Frenship ISD, click here.