Texas School For The Deaf To Use Custom Apps For Emergency Notification and Anonymous Reports

The technology will allow staff and faculty to communicate during an emergency as well as respond to reports from students about mental health issues or school threats.

In order to meet requirements for a state school safety law, the Texas School for the Deaf is launching two apps for emergency notifications and anonymous tips.

The two security solutions were created by Anonymous Alerts, a security company founded by Gregory Bender to allow anonymous two-way communication between school officials. Administrators at the school sought out the company’s services after Senate Bill 11 was passed by the Texas state legislature in 2019 as a response to a mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in 2018.

One app was specifically designed for the School for the Deaf’s employees, NPR station KUT reported.

“It's an instant panic button in the school employees' pocket, where they can press the button for three seconds and instantly notify triage teams, principal groups, and/or the superintendent as well as first responders, quickly and instantly within three seconds about a specific type of incident," Bender, who serves as CEO of Anonymous Alerts, told KUT.

The company provides services for about 8,000 schools nationwide and 150 school districts in Texas, according to Bender. Superintendent Claire Bugen said the app will help her staff communicate across a large 67-acre campus, noting that 60 percent of staff and faculty are deaf and that the app is tailored to their needs.

“We have a lot of deaf people, and, of course, they will use the e-mail and the texting button to communicate, or the two-way chat because that can go through text and e-mail as well,” Bugen said.

In addition, the school plans to use the Anonymous Alerts app for students to submit reports about bullying, depression, drug use and potential threats to campus anonymously. The app enables administrators to gather more information from the student without revealing their identity.

"We customized it in such a way that if it was depression or a self-harm threat, it went immediately to a counselor or to a social worker," Bugen told KUT.

Bugen hopes that training on how to use the apps will be completed this month, allowing all staff and students to use the technology.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

Featured

  • Buffalo Public School District Modernizes Security With New Cameras NVRs

    i-PRO Co., Ltd. (formerly Panasonic Security), a provider of professional security solutions for surveillance and public safety, recently announced that the Buffalo Public School District (BPSD) has modernized its security footprint with i-PRO multi-sensor and 360° fisheye network cameras, and i-PRO NV300 network video recorders (NVR). The BPSD serves 28,000 K-12 students out of 70 facilities in western New York. Read Now

  • Lessons Learned from Past School Shootings

    Two experts are working together and collaborating on new ways school campuses can develop a proactive and comprehensive security plan. For three consecutive years, the U.S has had a record-high number of school shootings resulting in a repetitive cycle of grievances, anger, and frustration. The U.S. had 344 school shootings in 2023 which surpassed the record-breaking number of 308 school shootings in 2022 as reported by K-12 School Shooting Database. Read Now

  • Mother of Michigan School Shooter Found Guilty on Four Counts of Involuntary Manslaughter

    The mother of the teenager who killed four students in an Oxford, Michigan school has been found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter because of the shooting. That’s according to a report from CNN. Read Now

  • Utah State Legislature Funds Gun Detection Technology and Incident Management System in All Public K-12 Schools

    ZeroEyes, the creators of the only AI-based gun detection video analytics platform that holds the US Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act Designation, and AEGIX Global, a Utah-based provider of industry-leading critical incident management services, recently announced that the Utah State Board of Education has approved a contract to provide the joint solution for all Utah public K-12 schools, including charter schools. Read Now

Webinars