After an escalation in the number of school shootings recently, some schools have chosen to boost security measures with new panic alert buttons. But, on the other hand, some people believe this to be an excessive way to spend on security.
Ken Trump, president of the National School Safety and Security Services, dismissed these panic button systems as nothing more than “security theater.” Rather than expensive measures, he suggests training staff to make sure doors are not open, and to implement basic safety protocols. “People want visible, tangible things,” Trump told The Associated Press. “It’s a lot harder to point to the value of training your staff. Those are intangibles. Those are things that are less visible and invisible, but they’re most effective.”
Named CrisisAlert, the panic button system by Centegix, cost schools a whopping $2.1 million over a five-year period.
Apart from Trump, National Association of School Resource Officers executive director Mo Canady is also firmly against panic buttons, cautioning that they can lead to false alarms or pranks, without yielding positive results.
Meanwhile, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul required schools to at least consider alarm systems after the Uvalde shooting, and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt ordered schools to put in panic buttons.