RAVE PANIC BUTTON EXPLAINED

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RAVE PANIC BUTTON EXPLAINED

The Rave Panic Button, implemented this year, gives text updates to teachers in case of emergency.

The Rave Panic Button, implemented this year, gives text updates to teachers in case of emergency.

Ghesseh Afshari

The Rave Panic Button, implemented this year, gives text updates to teachers in case of emergency.

Ghesseh Afshari

Ghesseh Afshari

The Rave Panic Button, implemented this year, gives text updates to teachers in case of emergency.

Malavika Kannan and Thu-Minh Nguyen

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Last Wednesday, teachers and students were taken aback by a notification that went off on some teachers’ phones campus-wide, warning of an active shooter on campus. A period later, Dr. Connie Collins came on the intercom to announce that the shocking notification was only a drill meant to test out the Rave Panic Button. However, confusion only escalated from there, leading many Noles to wonder how exactly the mysterious Button works.

As it turns out, Rave Panic Button (RPB) may be a bit of a misnomer, as is is not a button, nor does it rave panic. It’s actually an app that the school board purchased for all teachers that sends school-wide updates in the case of a crisis. It also allows teachers who have downloaded the app onto their phone to track their locations using the Geofence, making it easier for help to respond.

The RPB contains modes for an active shooter, medical, fire department, as well as a 911 call button. Once a user has reported an emergency, the app shares the information with everyone who has downloaded it, making it easier to access updates in case of an actual crisis. As a result, when Dr. Collins sent out a text message, teachers across the campus with the app received the alert.

“The idea is that it’s going to  update you on what’s happening during an active shooter,” explained school resource officer Heather Smart. “We’re going to be able to push information out to the people on campus that have it, telling them what’s going on. So it helps keep people informed and also to help increase our response time.”

The button was implemented this year during a faculty meeting, in which Dr. Collins encouraged teachers to download the apps on their phones. In light of the time last year when there was a shooting near the bus ramp after school, forcing the school to go into lockdown, many deemed the app a necessary step to promote security and communication.

“Last year, nobody knew what was going on,” said Smart. “The sheriff’s office is going to be able to push information out to staff members, telling them what’s happening so that they know what’s happening in the time and that way, it tries to keep our panic-level down.”

Still, many teachers were rather alarmed to receive the text message last week, especially because it caused Amber Alert-like beeping on some phones. While some received emails from a no-reply address, others got a text message which reads as follows:

“Active Shooter Reported at Seminole/Seminole by C Collins at 09:02:10. Test. Test. Test of the Active Shooter Button.”

The first few words of the text message induced panic among teachers who did not at first notice the last part of the text message, prompting them to call administrators to find out more about the situation.

“I was kind of taken back by it, but then I read the whole thing and saw it was a test,” said Mrs. Kathryn Lind. “But at that point, if you didn’t read the whole thing [and] you just briefly read it, there would be panic. You had to read the whole email. At that point, the kids were very confused about what was happening.”

Teachers should know that although the RBP is only meant to supplement the existing Code Red System, they are wholeheartedly encouraged to download the app. In fact, some teachers believe that the app should go a step further in promoting communication.

First and foremost, I believe the system is a great idea and I am in full support,” said Mrs. Emily Painter. “After yesterday’s drill, I would love to see a notification that would go off even with your phone on silent and/or a drill option.”

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