The Troup County School System has approved an emergency alert badge system, as well as air quality devices that can detect vaping or smoking.
American Rescue Plan funds should be used for both purchases.
Emergency alert badges will be worn by all employees. In an emergency, they might be in a hurry to alert of a problem on campus.
The portable badges are provided by Centegix and would cost $ 961,400 over a five-year period, according to Deputy Superintendent Chip Medders.
“I think this price is very high, but again… an incident, if it got out of hand with a major injury or worse, that price would seem very low,” said board member Joe Franklin.
Medders said about 2,000 Southeastern school districts use Centegix devices, including 70 in Georgia. Medders specifically named the school systems in Coweta, Carroll, Fayette and Pike County.
“We believe this will give teachers more peace of mind,” Superintendent Brian Shumate said during Monday night’s working session. “This concept of a teacher having a badge on his lanyard where he can push that button and get immediate assistance, basically for any kind of disturbance in a school – a kid gets hurt, a kid has a seizure, teachers try. to take care of the kid – they don’t have to run to the phone.
Air quality devices, manufactured by Surelock Technology, would be placed in bathrooms and locker rooms and could measure air quality, detecting uses of vapers and cigarettes, Medders said.
Medders said on Monday that in bullying situations they could be programmed to go off if a certain word is spoken so that the manager is alerted. They would also turn off for loud noises or abnormalities.
“Will that prevent vaping in our schools? No, ”Medders said on Monday. “Is this going to make people understand that we are serious about this?” I think so.”
Medders said TCSS would start by placing them at Callaway Middle School and Troup High School. The price of $ 84,080 would be stuck for 120 days, so if they perform well, TCSS plans to purchase more. The initial shipment would include 80 devices, each covering an area of 12 × 12 feet.
Under the theme of Student Safety, Steve Heaton, District Athletic Director and School Safety Coordinator, presented the work TCSS does to keep students safe.
Heaton said fire drills are done twice in the first 30 days of school and once a month thereafter, weather drills are done twice a year and lockdown drills are done quarterly. .
Site safety visits are carried out once a year by law enforcement, emergency management and firefighters, Heaton said.
“We are trying to enter schools, which means we are trying to enter schools without keys. We’re trying to find unlocked doors, unlocked windows, and I’m proud to say this year we’ve had very few doors open, ”Heaton said.
Heaton also discussed the security systems training that took place on June 8, which included fire extinguisher training, gang identification training and active sniper training.
“I believe these types of exercises are extremely important. I think we have deep blockages. I think we’re doing an amazing job as a school system and as staff to make sure our students are safe in lockdown. The problem is, it’s in a sterile environment. We do it four times a year, and everyone knows what it’s supposed to be doing, but when you have gunshots in a school, it completely changes the context, ”Heaton said. “When you have people screaming and screaming, knocking on doors, say let me in, let me in, let me in… it changes the context of what can happen in a school in a matter of minutes. I think it’s important that the staff see this and understand what they’re supposed to be doing… so it becomes second nature if we’re hosting an event.
TCSS will also have a behavioral threat analysis training on July 19 and host a safe schools forum in September. The Safe Schools Forum will be chaired by Max Schachter, Founder and Executive Director of Safe Schools for Alex, who will speak on what was learned from the shooting in Parkland, Florida. Max’s son Alex was one of 17 people killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.