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That only happens in the US

That only happens in the US

Friday, 21 August 2015
(The following was originally posted on our site http://www.ats.com.au/news/that-only-happens-in-the-us)
 

We’ve all said this before, or at least heard it. We see stories on the news from other countries and convince ourselves it could never happen here.  How many times have we said … “Only in America!”

Then last week, this happened:

Sydney Boys High School was put in lockdown after reports of an armed man on school grounds on Wednesday afternoon. Students were told to stay in their classroom and hide under their desks while police initially looked for a man thought to be armed on school grounds.

- Courtesy of SMH

Sound familiar?

We’ve heard this story come out of the US a few times, but since when did it start happening in Australia?   More importantly, since when did we realise it COULD actually happen in Australia?

For many of us last week may have been the first time we realised it could happen here - or for others they received a chilling reminder.

A police investigation subsequently determined the man was not armed but was acting suspiciously in the school bathrooms.  The news of this incident spread across the nation and many who were shocked it could happen in Australia reacted accordingly.   Our society can often be reactive; as if we need to see something bad happen before we want to make a change. This should never be the case; especially when it comes to the safety of our children. What if this man had carried out an unthinkable act? That wouldn’t be a story forgotten by the internet a day later.  It would likely be another anniversary this country does not want to remember. 

This is exactly why ATS created School Guardian. Schools who have installed this ground breaking system understand it’s not a preventative measure for an incident unlikely to happen, but a solution to a real problem - one of the biggest our society can face – and one that can have a big impact on their school community.   They love it because it operates in true 2015 style as the entire functionality can be simply managed from a touch screen.   School Guardian functionalities include:

  • Multiple evacuation options, allowing you to corral students and staff into specific areas as the crisis evolves.
  • Zoned lock down, giving the ability to keep doors open or locked to either keep people in or out.
  • Zoned PA system which allows you to talk to individual areas of the school: inside, outside, individual zones and everything in-between.
  • Point to point intercom which allows for private communications between the command station and individual field panels.
  • Integrated bell and music which gives the ability to introduce a new audio or bell system throughout the school via the PA system.
  • Wireless installation  
  • Infrastructure alterations to existing sites.
  • Fire panel integration allows school guardian to utilise the existing field speakers reducing installation costs where possible.

As parents, we all need to be aware of what technology makes possible today.  Does your school have this level of security? Or will they wait to install such a system until they need it?

We encourage you to reach out to your local school and see if they have any systems in place. A friendly conversation on the topic is a good start to educating them not only of its importance, but the importance your community places on the safety of its children.    Safety should never be an after-thought; it’s priority.