Roan School in Dalton pilots new system for lockdown threats using teacher ID badges
As mass shootings continue to plague schools across the nation, one elementary school in Dalton is trying to protect its students using new technology.
Administrators at Roan School say school security is becoming more of a concern. Keeping the hallways safe is a full time job and one that all staff members now have the power to manage at their finger tips.
"We do, of course, educate children. That's our job, but one of the top priorities is the safety," School Principal Cindy Parrott told Channel 3.
She says in her 26 years as an educator there, she's seen the way safety protocol is evolving.
"As we reflected on the Sandy Hook incident many years ago...everybody worries about that day in and day out. You don't want that to ever happen. It's important to be prepared," she explained.
With the increased need to have a plan in place, came the opportunity to pilot a new system that would assist in executing those plans.
"A lockdown has been initiated. Please proceed to your classroom," an automated voice said over the school's intercom.
It's a program that was created by a company called Centegix. Roan School began testing it out last week.
"It's a fairly new technology that allows teachers to use a wireless badge. The badge allows staff members to click the badge three for a staff alert and 7 times for a full lock down," Director of Technology Stuart Davis said.
He says the system isn't a replacement for calling 911, but it is a way to let everyone in the building know when there's a threat--discretely.
"Centegix motto is 'every second matters' and that's really the premise behind this," Davis told Channel 3.
Parrott says they conduct lockdown drills on a monthly basis so students and staff know what to do. We got to see one in action.
"Please proceed to your classroom or closest secure location and lock the door. Turn off the lights, close the shades, move away from windows and doors. Keep students out of sight and try to keep them calm and quiet. Do not open the door until an all clear has been communicated," the system announced in intercoms through out the school.
They'll continue to test the program through the next few weeks. In June, they'll ask the school board about funding it for all nine Dalton Public Schools. The estimate they received was for a little more than $250,000.
Davis says right now they're still trying to determine whether the program will be a good fit for DPS and they may even decide to go with another option. However, the school board has already allotted funds for a program of its kind in their budget.