NEW BRAUNFELS, TX – From college campuses to even grade schools, it seems every week there’s at least one bomb scare or shooting threat on a Texas campus, prompting schools statewide to invest in emergency alert systems.
New Braunfels ISD will soon use a $15,000 system to send high-tech alerts in an effort to adapt to our changing world.
Inside classrooms in the district, students do homework on iPads, showing how information can spread instantly during a school emergency.
"Anytime there's a situation when we, as a parent, don't know what danger our kids might be in, we panic with that,” Superintendent Randy Mocyzgemba says.
He says just three weeks ago, the district dealt with a threat at the high school.
"A threat that was posted on Facebook about a student who said they were going to shoot up the school, Mocyzgemba says.
At the time, the only option was to lock down the school and notify some parents later.
But soon, with one post, the district’s new emergency alert system will notify parents of similar emergencies through text message, email, social media and by telephone – instantly.
"Our information will be factual and give them directions about what they should do,” Mocyzgemba says.
"But administrators know, in an emergency, the first thing a student might do is pull out cell phones and text mom and dad, so parents might get that text before receiving the official alert.
"We're going to gather enough information so we know what we're putting out to parents is correct,” Mocyzgemba says.
Once the system is in place, it will also allow parents to give feedback about how much the alert helped and what might need to change next time.