Columbine: 25 years later, what schools are doing to keep kids safe

Kristin Thorne Image
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
What schools are doing to keep kids safe 25 years after Columbine
Kristin Thorne has more on the changes schools have made since the tragedy.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Twenty-five years after the mass shooting at Columbine High School, Eyewitness News is looking back and examining how schools in our area are continuing to seek the best ways to protect their students.

"Security worries me each and every day," said Silvia Abbato, the superintendent of the Union City School District.

Abbato told Eyewitness News investigative reporter Kristin Thorne that the shooting at Columbine, and subsequent school shootings, have forever changed the landscape of education.

"You can have the best educational system, but if you don't have the technology and you don't have the security in place it could go out the window in a heartbeat," she said.

The school district uses a platform called 911inform. The system ties together all the cameras and security systems in the building and puts them under one system, which can be accessed through an app, desktop or on computers in police vehicles.

"We notify everyone you have a 911 call happening exactly at this spot," Ivo Allen, the creator of 911inform, said. "We connect everyone together, we open up a chat. Everyone is on the same page in real time."

Allen said 911inform allows responding officers to get electronic access to lock building doors instantly.

"When this emergency is over -- everybody's response, everything is logged," he said. "We can now see how everyone is responding and we track accountability."

Allen said 911inform is being used in nearly 10,000 schools across the country.

Schools in our area have turned to other kinds of technology as well, like using software programs that track threatening messages on social media or others that use AI to scan school camera feeds for guns.

In New York State, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation in 2022 requiring schools to consider installing panic alarm buttons in their buildings.


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