By Shannon McFarlin News Director
Paris, Tenn.–Once again, Henry County is in the forefront of school security, being the 5th or 6th school district in Tennessee to implement a system which will allow all school staff to call for immediate help and/or lockdown of school facilities at the push of a button.
Henry County Schools officials Thursday performed a demonstration of the new school security system at Lakewood School.
Representatives of Centegix and Central Tech were on hand for the demonstration. Their firms installed the new safety and security solution, called CrisisAlert. The Centegix team has been working during the evenings to install and test the components of the new system.
County Director of Schools Dr. Leah Watkins said, “It’s fully operational at this point. We’ve just finished training of staff. This is something that we never want to use but we know we have it when we need it.”
Under the system, all staff are equipped with badges which they wear around their necks and which are similar to LifeAlert badges. And like LifeAlert, you can call for help at the push of a button on the badge.
“This is the right fit at the right time from a safety perspective,” Dr. Watkins said. She said she was given a demonstration of the system at a conference and brought the information back to the district’s safety team and then on to the board, which approved it.
District Director of Technology Denton Jordan said any staff member will be able to trigger the alert, if the school is in danger or if the staff member is in danger. With a push of the button, the alert goes out to the county 911 system as well as law enforcement and everyone in the school is alerted that ‘this is not a drill’. The alert even goes to outside facilities, with flashing lights and announcements.
Photo: Lakewood Principal Amber Ryan demonstrates the new school security system. Shannon McFarlin photo.