Helping preserve students safety



A panic button can be pressed on a smartphone in the event of an active shooting or if there is an intruder in the school building.

If a student is having a seizure during physical education class, there’s another button that can be pressed to call for help.

If students are involved in a scuffle and a teacher needs assistance, he or she can push a button to receive help from the office.

Roger Bane, superintendent of Medora Community School Corp., recently talked to the board of trustees about how the SchoolGuard app works and how it could benefit the small school corporation in southwestern Jackson County.

Athletic Director Brad McCammon came across information about SchoolGuard, leading Bane to talk to Capt. Tim Guy with the Washington Police Department.

Bane learned there is a $1,000 setup fee, and it’s $1,188 per year. All staff members with a compatible smartphone would have access to the app.

“This SchoolGuard app, to me, is just a second layer of defense and response in case something would happen in our school,” Bane told trustees.

In the event of an active shooting or an intruder, pushing the panic button would notify on- and off-duty federal, state and local law enforcement officers within close proximity to the school. They also would have access to a map of where the alert was made.

The app simultaneously speed dials 911 and connects the staff member to emergency services. Other staff members in the school with the app installed also are immediately alerted and receive the map of the location of the initial alert, allowing them to react accordingly. Even neighboring schools are instantly alerted of an active shooter emergency.

The SchoolGuard service allows for unlimited downloads per school. The app is portable, effective and invisible to the students, so it is out of reach to them to prevent false alarms.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the average school shooting only lasts 12.5 minutes, and the average response time by first responders is 18 minutes.

The app should help with that response time, Bane said.

“We only have one town marshal, so this would allow this to go to any officers in this area,” he said.

Another app function helps with other situations, such as a medical emergency. Bane said that button connects the person to 911.

Then the Teacher Assist function could be used when a staff member needs assistance in a classroom or elsewhere in the school building.

Bane also talked to trustees about improving security at the school’s playground, which is across the street from the school building.

He said there are signs posted letting people know the playground is closed during the school day and at dark, but he has seen people there during those times.

“I’m trying to get some numbers together to raise the fence and get the fence to where we can lock it to keep people out that don’t need to be in there,” he said. “We have been finding items on the playground that shouldn’t be out there, and I’d like to get it secured so that our playground is safe.”

One company he talked to has a type of fencing with a cable across the top so someone can’t climb it and jump over. He said it’s a lot cheaper and looks better.

Bane also wants to put a guardrail along the side of the fence that faces a parking lot. He said some people pull their car into a space close to the fence and hit it, and the posts have to be straightened up.

If trustees approve, Bane said he would seek grants to cover the costs of the SchoolGuard App and the work around the playground.

Board President Joe Campbell said as school shootings continue across the country, schools are doing different things to try to keep students and staff members safe.

“I know this is a small town, and I pray nothing ever happens, but we’ll study this,” Campbell said of Bane’s safety proposal.

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For information about the SchoolGuard app, visit


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