How messed up is America? This messed up. Schoolteachers are being encouraged to use an app to alert police and school employees about an active shooting incident in real time, as the mass shooting happens.
“Schools are turning to technology to protect kids during mass shootings,” reports Stefanie Dazio at the Associated Press.
“Technology that speeds up law enforcement’s response and quickly alerts teachers and students to danger is a growing tool amid rising concerns over the inability to prevent shootings like the one last week at a suburban Denver high school,” she writes.
The 18-year-old student who rushed one of the gunmen died in that May 2019 Colorado shooting.
There are concerns that school districts and other authorities are too quick to adopt technology as a PR-friendly solution at the same time mental health programs and violence-prevention efforts are defunded.
Here's how the Share911 app referenced above works, from the AP report:
The students are trained to gather in a corner with the classroom’s lights out and blinds drawn in a lockdown, social studies teacher Laura Stark said. Staffers check in via the Share911 app to share information, including if any kids are missing or injured.
Share911 launched three weeks after the Sandy Hook shooting. The app provides real-time data to school employees and law enforcement, such as the type of threat and its location, based on floor plans of the building.
“You can’t decide if you’re going to run, hide or fight in the absence of information,” said Endress, the CEO.
AmberBox, an indoor gunshot detection product that looks like a smoke detector, has a similar philosophy. It alerts school officials and law enforcement the moment a shot is fired and maps the location.
The system uses sensors that track a gun’s muzzle flash and a bullet’s shockwave, CEO James Popper said.
Chicago-based Aegis AI is refining technology to identify a gun as soon as it enters an area that a camera is scanning. The company was incorporated a year ago and still is working to minimize false alarms, such as when the software flags a staple gun or drill, CEO Sonny Tai said. Most of its clients are in a pilot program.