Updated: 10/08/2013 8:14 PM
Created: 10/08/2013 3:33 PM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri
A system set up by a local school district is focusing on making safety a top priority. This is a trend at many of the school districts around Rochester. They are using technology to set up programs that allow, students and community members to report unsafe situations.
The program at West Irondequoit is a texting system. Students can text WISECURITY to 74700 and within minutes, a security member of the school will text them back. Students can have a conversation with them about the problem they have heard about or see.
Julia Magee, West Irondequoit senior, said, “In a school full of teenagers, you need to have some sort of media that relates to what they are used to. And to have someone respond immediately, you don't want to be stuck in a situation you feel uncomfortable in for longer than you have to be. So it is very important that they can come right away.”
News10NBC spoke with students at the high school who said some of their friends have already used the system. They say it doesn't have to be used just for security. For example, if a lifeguard was locked out of the school pool, they can text the number and someone can let them in. The system is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Students also say while they can't text in the classroom, they can in the hallways. They think this program can help kids.
Laura Chodak, West Irondequoit senior, said, “A big problem with bullying in the past has been that people are afraid to approach people about it. But now it is so unclassified that you can go just text someone and you know that your name won't be revealed and you will be safe and your name wont be sent out, so that is a great opportunity.”
The district says in an emergency situation, you should always call 911 first.
We contacted other local school districts to see what safety technology they have place in their schools. Below are the districts we heard back from.
Webster: Helpline and textline
Pittsford and East Irondequoit: No safety technology