July 23, 2024

Schools nationwide install blue emergency boxes in case of active shooter

Active shooter training TheGrio
Oakland School Police chief Jeff Godown (L) talks with Oakland Unified School District staff during an active shooter training at Cole Elementary School on February 16, 2018 in Oakland, California. Days after a gunman opened fire and killed 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, teachers and staff with the Oakland Unified School District participated in an active shooter training that discussed strategies on how to deal with active shooter situations in schools. The training had already been scheduled prior to the Florida shooting. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The shooting epidemic in the nation’s schools is prompting officials to take the major preventive step of installing blue emergency boxes in classroom buildings, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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About 150 schools across the country have installed BluePoint alert systems and blue pull boxes that serve as direct links to emergency responders, according to the Tribune.

The system operates much like the emergency boxes found on public transportation. Users remove a plastic cover then push a lever in and down. This act sends a signal to BluePoint and then to police. School staffers also can activate the system with fobs that they can wear around their necks, according to the Tribune.

St. Benedict’s Preparatory School on Chicago’s North Side is one of 20 schools throughout Illinois that have installed the systems and, in some cases, completely new security systems, the news organization reports.

Henry Klucznik, 10, says he feels a lot more protected knowing that the school has installed such a system.

“I feel a lot safer than I used to,” Henry told the Tribune. The closest box two him is “two to three seconds away,” right down the hall, he said.

“It’s sad that we do have to think about this,” said Henry’s mother, Molly Klucznik. “When I was growing up, we had tornado drills.

Of the 20 schools in Illinois now equipped with the systems, only four are in the city of Chicago. None of the schools with the new systems are public schools, the Tribune reported.

Young people today are sadly aware of the dangers of gun violence in schools, Rachel Gemo, head of school at St. Benedict’s, told the Tribune.

“They are not immunity to what they hear on TV,” Gemo said.

Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization working to reduce gun violence, reports that in 2018 alone, there have been almost 60 incidents of gunfire on school grounds.

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