My name is Jeff Pickren and I am a founding partner of ShieldCampus. I am a resident of the Atlanta area, and unfortunately our city fell victim to the latest round of mass shootings on Wednesday, May 3rd. My heart goes out to the victims of yet another senseless tragedy. Though the shooting did not take place at a school, many schools in the area were placed into lockdown. A friend of mine has two children that attend one of these schools. Somehow his daughter and friends left the school during the lockdown and visited a local coffee shop. The only reason my friend knew this was because he texted his daughter to ask if she was ok. She let him know that the school had gone into lockdown, but she had left.
This is ALARMING on multiple levels.
First, as a former school administrator I can tell you that you would be surprised at how easily and often this happens. Keeping track of students on campus can be extremely difficult. It’s even more difficult during a crisis. This can happen at any school!
Second, it is alarming from a parent’s perspective because when we drop our kids off at school, we assume our children are in the care of the school until we pick them up or when the bus drops them off at home.
Lastly, the lack of communication between the school and parent regarding a student leaving campus is concerning. A student left campus and there was zero communication alerting the parent that a student was missing during a crisis, and/or the student had checked out.
The unfortunate issue is that there are so many iterations of this kind of story. It’s our jobs as educators to protect our biggest asset…. our students.
Wouldn’t it be beneficial for schools to have a comprehensive solution that addresses the various challenges they face? Consider a scenario where advanced technology is available that enables the administration to promptly monitor every student’s whereabouts on the campus during a crisis. This same technology could facilitate real-time communication with all stakeholders, including parents, teachers, administrators, and first responders to provide an up-to-date account of every student on campus?
That is why we created ShieldCampus. I was an administrator who faced these issues every day, and it kept me up at night. We created ShieldCampus to address these very problems.