After recent attacks at schools like the deadly Connecticut school shooting, administrators all across the country are working to make sure students are safe, but one local school is becoming a leader when it comes to school security.
Safety, timing and communication are three goals for the school’s lock down drill at Honeysuckle Middle School. Principal Scott Faulk makes sure that everyone, from the janitors to the students, are prepared for the unknown.
After countless drills, Faulk and Janice Horne, a nurse at the school, knew there had to be a quicker way to alert others of an emergency.
“If an intruder comes in, instead of us going to the intercom system and saying we're in a lockdown mode. With this app, I can text my teachers," explained Faulk.
It takes less than 13-seconds for all staff, school resources officers and the Dothan City Schools Superintendent to get the text. A teacher can then alert others if someone is hurt in the classroom or if the coast is clear.
"We can print out that information and get it to the SWAT team, get it to the police team in a matter of minutes,” Faulk continued.
For emergency personnel not familiar with the school, a map is provided. That is just one of the many features app creator Matthew Howard designed.
We designed it to where people who don't have smart phones could still receive messages and know what's going on. They may not be able to send them out, but they can still receive it,” said Howard.
After two months and 15 trials, Howard said his biggest issue is the percentage of staff having smart phones or devices to send messages. Luckily he explained that at Honeysuckle, 80-percent of the teachers have smart phones.
This is the first app of its kind in the state and staff at Honeysuckle know they are sitting on a gold mine, but to them, it is not about the potential sales, it is about the safety of students.