Text Message Warnings

Schools were once a safe haven. Parents and students did not even think of acts of crime occurring at the houses of education. However, time and media have shown us differently. Acts, such as the one several months ago at Virginia Tech, have students, parents, and educators concerned and on the alert for better security and protection in schools.

Some schools have metal detector entrances. Others have security guards. Many train students on procedures to carry out in case of strangers or emergencies. Threats are taken seriously and administrators check into any claims of violence.

Unfortunately media attention to one case often leads to threats or acts by others. After the Virginia Tech shooting, Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville received a notification that a similar act was to occur on its campus. The one making the threat was caught and is in jail.

Although all worked out best for Southern Illinois in Edwardsville this time, the college is not taking any chances. The threat brought reality to the school and it decided to put a plan into action. One measure that SIUE is taking is to alert students when there is danger. The school hopes to be able to text message all of its students if there is potential danger on the school campus. The system would be free to the students and is planned to be working by the end of the year.

I think that the college is smart to be thinking ahead and setting up its guard. However, when I first read the text message plan a very doubtful thought crossed me. I began thinking of the total chaos that would occur when every student on campus got their text message and went into a panic. I realize that had students in Virginia known what was happening they may could have left the building and been saved. But then I also think what if every student on campus had fled from the buildings, met the attacker in the courtyard, and even more killings had occurred.

School Violence