(WTRF) — It’s a parental fear that goes beyond supplies, riding the bus, and even report cards.
What if your child isn’t safe at school?
Educators have dealt with this gut-wrenching question for years, but a telecommunications company says it’s ready to answer the call.
AT&T has unveiled its FirstNet emergency network and Safety Shield mobile app especially for schools.
It’s an alert system made up of panic buttons worn by teachers, bus drivers and administrators, with an automatic and direct line to police—no middleman required.
“The teacher encountering a situation pushes a sequence of buttons that they determine. They could determine it’s a long press for 3 seconds and that initiates a 911 call. It could be three clicks, anything that they choose.”Matt Walsh, AT&T
But the buttons send information at a speed that even a call to 911 can’t compete with.
With one press of the button or on a mobile app, a message is sent to emergency services telling them location coordinates, school contact information and who pressed the button, all without a word being said.
“They see blueprints of the school. They see floor plans of the school, more appropriately said, so they can see where in the school the device was activated.”Matt Walsh, AT&T
It can also be used at recess or on a field trip or bus, with AT&T promising coverage of 250,000 more square miles than commercial networks.
And since it’s built for public safety, Walsh says FirstNet puts emergency calls at the top of the queue for response times.
“It gives them quality, priority and preemption. So it gives them access to that network in the most difficult and most congested of times above anybody else.”Matt Walsh, AT&T
So will this security solution be widely adopted by schools?
Administrators will have to make that decision for their districts.
But soon teacher’s lanyards may hold more than an ID, something with the power to face down a tragedy before it even happens.