Schools Get Help At The Push Of A Button

Schools Get Help At The Push Of A Button

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An alarm might be going off soon in a school near you. A teacher can push a panic button to set it off and local police and emergency responders are also notified.

“As soon as a situation arises, whether it be a true terroristic type threat to the district or whether it be a child that has a medical emergency, again the sooner that we know the sooner that we can respond,” said Ronald Burke, Canton Central School District superintendent.

A receiver gives school officials the teacher's name and location. They can then determine more about the situation and inform police and others as they respond.

“It will definitely assist with us in our response in knowing what it might be and what we are responding to,” said Ashley Coffey, Canton school resource officer.

Teachers can carry the push button alarms on them. The systems will be paid for with a half million dollar grant secured by State Senator Patty Ritchie.

More than 4,000 teachers and key staff members will get the push button alarms. They'll go to every school district within the 48th Senate District and a couple of others as well.

Ritchie introduced a bill to reimburse schools for safety systems like the push button alarms. But it never moved.

“This was a way for me to address it, by securing the funds and making sure that school districts that I represent had the ability to have the personal alarms on site,” said Ritchie.

Three different BOCES districts will bid and secure the alarms for their school districts. A specific system will be chosen through that process. 

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