OLATHE, Kan. — Teachers and other staff employed in the Olathe School District will now have backup at their fingertips.
The district installed a new safety and security system that allows employees to call for help with the push of a button on their badges. It’s something each employee will wear daily, along with their ID badge, according to the district.
The system is called CrisisAlert. The district made the change following the March shooting inside an office at Olathe East High School.
According to court documents, Clark shot and disarmed Elmore, who was hospitalized for two months before being booked into Johnson County jail.
Clark and assistant principal Dr. Kaleb Stoppel were shot and hospitalized during the incident, but were released from the hospital later that night.
There are several investigations underway surrounding the shooting, including one by the school district.
“The safety of our students and staff is our top priority and we believe this will add to the variety of tools that we use on a daily basis,” Brent Kiger, Director of Safety Services, said. “We believe that this simple tool can have a huge impact on our educators’ and our students’ physical and mental health. Regardless of what is happening and wherever they are, we can respond quickly.”
District and school administrators, school resource officers, and additional first responders are notified with the exact location of the staff member as soon as that employee pushes the button.
The emergency alert system will be used in crisis situations, but also in other situations, like if an employee or student is having a medical emergency.
The technology also allows staff members to initiate a campus-wide lockdown at the touch of a button, if the situation requires it.
“We know that building trusted relationships with our students is the best way for our educators to create a safe space for students to learn,” Dr. Brent Yeager, Olathe Superintendent, said. “However, we also recognize that emergency situations can occur at any moment, and it is best to have resources in place to support our students and staff in times of crisis. Our goal is to give our educators peace of mind that they can call for help at anytime, anywhere on school grounds, and they will be heard.”
The district will train employees on the new system before students return to school Aug. 12. The district plans to have badges to all staff members by the end of September.
The new system is paid for by a bond issue Olathe voters passed earlier this year.
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