OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Students in the Blue Valley School District returned to classes for the spring semester to find a new layer of security in place.

The district installed a new crisis alert system.

It arms every teacher and member of school staff with a special badge. The badge has a button that allows them to summon help from a principal or a school nurse if there is a medical emergency.

Staff members can also initiate a campus-wide lockdown with the touch of a button in case of a crisis or safety issue.

Teachers and administrators trained on the new system Tuesday.

“If you hit the button eight times or more, that’s when it goes into crisis alert and it notifies the entire building, strobe lights come on, an announcement come on, computers are taken over, and it says that you need to get into a lock down, lights out,” Tonya Merrigan, Blue Valley Superintendent, said.

The alert also provides a precise location of the emergency so administrators and police and medical crews can respond faster if needed.

The district says the new system does not replace campus officers or other security measures that are already in place at schools and other district buildings.

Students and staff will conduct drills using the new system in the coming weeks.

The Olathe School District has a similar emergency alert system in place.