Superintendents like Dr. David M. Browne think about student safety all the time. In a world where tragedies like those at Sandy Hook are a reality, it seems administrators can’t think about safety enough.
Browne, superintendent of schools at Randolph Township in New Jersey, weighed the options last summer – well before Sandy Hook – and decided to partner with Long Island-based Teq to provide schools in his district with the SAFE System with VIEWPath. The eventual goal, he says, is that all schools in his district will have the systems in place.
“I want the parents in this district and this town to know that we’re being very proactive with acquiring the people and the things that make a great state-of-the-art security plan,” Browne said. “I think the best school security is a combination of people, relationships and things. I can’t think of a better thing to have than The SAFE System because it gives instant information in the event of the unthinkable to law enforcement, to the central office, to the main office – to everyone who needs to know that information.”
The SAFE System, which stands for Security Alert For Education, is an offering by Audio Enhancement that has the capability to immediately notify school administration and authorities when a situation occurs in a classroom. The system starts with a discreet button-press from microphones worn around a teacher’s neck. First responders are notified with an audible and visual alert signal on a monitoring station, and a live audio feed from the classroom becomes available. VIEWPath, an add-on option, works with SAFARI Montage, a Digital Media Management and Distribution system, and allows schools a video feed in the same situations. The information can be delivered to computers, laptops, smartphones or tablet devices so decisions can be made immediately.
Randolph Township is one of many districts across the country adopting the Safe System to help ensure the safety of its students. Last years’ Sandy Hook tragedy, in which 26 innocent victims were gunned down, has brought school safety to the forefront, and motivated school districts nationwide to implement similar safety systems.
“Eventually I hope to equip every classroom with the Safe System,” Browne said. “Until we can afford that kind of expenditure, we’re going to grow the infrastructure that Teq built as quickly as we can because we see it as an absolute answer to information sharing.”