Could panic buttons help save lives during school shootings?
Students mourn their fallen classmates after the school shooting in Parkland, FL. Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

After the horrific events that played out in Parkland, Florida last week, there have now been eight school shootings in the United States this year alone. For the sake of not normalizing this number, take a step back and realize that it is only February.

 

With the likelihood of the Republicans in Congress voting against their donors in the NRA to impose any sort of new gun controls laws being slim to none, it is up to schools to come up with other ways to assure the safety of their children in the wake of all of these school shootings.

 

Our President seems to think the best option to fend off these “sickos” is to give our teachers handguns that can dangle in their holsters as they draw up lesson plans on their dry erase boards. But will adding more firepower to our classrooms really help to save lives during school shootings? There must be a better way to diffuse these terrible events before they reach the tragic levels they have in the past.

 

Because school shootings have become such a rampant epidemic in our country, the security and mobile emergency response company SecuraTrac has been offering its services as a way for teachers to alert authorities. The company initially designed its product, the Mobile Defender - Model S, as a mobile panic button for the elderly and for solitary field positions like oil riggers and real estate brokers to alert people of their whereabouts right away in case they find themselves in trouble. But as creator Chris Holbert discovered, his product might be needed more in the classroom.

 

“You've got administrators and teachers who are on their own but they have a vulnerable population of kids,” says Holbert, “they need an emergency response and they don’t have a lot of time or flexibility on how they can make people aware of the emergency and create communication that would be helpful.”

The Model S can either be kept stationary in the classroom or taken on the go where it can be easily concealed by teachers and administrators. Its holster acts as a charger where it only takes two hours to fully charge and once it is, it has a battery life of two weeks. The device is also equipped with a GPS tracker and has a mobile two-way channel that can connect to any SecuraTrac employees located in their numerous offices around the world.

By no means will having these devices stop armed assailants from opening fire during these school shootings, but Holbert believes their products will help to open meaningful lines of communication for teachers and administrators in these times of crisis.

“Life has never been better but at the same time it has never been more unpredictable,” explains a heavy-hearted Holbert, “the staggering thing in the first 30 days of the school year, there were over 10 of these events just in high schools alone. Our device does not prevent the existence of people who do these things but it does help keep everyone else safe and gives them a chance to secure their own safety that without it they don’t have.”