Students return to school with panic buttons for shootings

Some worry that the panic buttons wouldn’t really help in an emergency, and are instead simply a step to reassure parents.

MISSION, Kan. — Melissa Lee comforted her son and daughter after a student opened fire in their suburban Kansas City high school, wounding an administrator and a police officer stationed there.

Then weeks later, she wept for the parents in Uvalde, Texas, who were forced to bury their children after the massacre there in May. She said she was “absolutely” reassured when she learned her district had since purchased one of the panic-alert systems gaining traction nationwide amid a surge in school violence that includes shootings and fights. The technology, featuring wearable panic buttons or mobile phone apps, enables teachers to notify each other and police in the event of an emergency.

“Time is of the essence,” said Lee, whose son helped barricade a classroom door and watched police enter his school with guns drawn. “They can hit a button and, OK, we know something’s wrong, you know, really wrong. And then it puts everybody else on high alert.”

Multiple states now mandate or encourage the buttons, and a growing number of districts are shelling out tens of thousands of dollars per school for them — part of a widespread scramble to beef up school security and prevent the next tragedy. The spending spree includes metal detectors, security cameras, vehicle barriers, alarm systems, clear backpacks, bullet-resistant glass and door-locking systems.

Critics say school officials are scrambling to show action — any action — to worried parents ahead of the new school year, but in their haste may be emphasizing the wrong things. It’s “security theater,” said Ken Trump, president of the National School Safety and Security Services. Instead, he said, schools should focus on making sure teachers are implementing

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Houston County DA’s office speaks on crime in Warner Robins

Houston County DA William Kendall held a press conference to address violent crime in Warner Robins, and give information on possible solutions.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — District Attorney William Kendall held a press conference on Friday at the courthouse in Perry to address violent crime in Warner Robins.

He advocated for support of the police department and community accountability and released details about the pending investigations for the 3 cases.

“I expect to see maybe today, and in the near future, that there will be more arrests associated with these cases, and these people will be taken off the street,” Kendall said.

His remarks follow a press conference on Tuesday by Warner Robins Major LaRhonda Patrick and Police Chief John Wagner about three shootings in Warner Robins over 48 hours.

After the shootings at Cru Lounge, the 7 Star Food Mart, and Thomas Boulevard, the people of Warner Robins called for a change in the community.

The current number of homicides in the area has reached 8; last year, it was 11.

Kendall said he understands the concerns and that no matter what the crime is – “one burglary, one armed robbery, one homicide, it’s all one too many for me.”

There have also been concerns about gang violence in the area, something Kendall spoke about.

“I will tell you that the preliminary information indicates that 2 of the three homicides appear to be motivated by criminal street gang activity,” said Kendall.

According to the Police, all of the shootings involved street gang members.

Kendall went on to say that they have identified the parties involved in the cases and that it is just a matter of tracking them down and bringing them in.

As for solutions to the problem, Kendall said that the sheriff’s office had begun supplementing the

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