NewsPolk County


New technology aiming to keep kids safe in Florida schools

Posted at 5:32 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 18:32:31-04

CHAMPIONS GATE, Fla. — On average, 96 Americans are killed with guns daily according to a non-profit organization, Everytown for Gun Safety. 

As of May, a total of 43 shootings have occurred on school campuses across the country. That includes the 17 students killed at Parkland earlier this year.

These incidents and more, have sparked new ideas. Teachers, parents and inventors alike have been busy creating new ways to prevent tragedy and keep our children safe at school. 

“It’s really sad we are having the discussion,” Monte Scott, a long-time Marine said.

ABC Action News went to check out the newest technology as a part of this year's National School Safety Conference, held in Osceola County.

Monte Scott, with Pepperball, recently helped a school district in York, Pennsylvania implement their program to arm teachers with pepperball guns.

“It literally feels like someone has taken your breath away, it’s going to hurt,” Scott says.

It’s a tool our law enforcement and our military have used since 1999. 

The gun is designed to hurt, disable and stop an assailant, rather than kill them.

Pepperball calls it a happy medium in-between arming teachers with firearms and leaving them out to fend for themselves during an active shooter incident.

“They have a way to protect themselves and their students,” Scott said.

ABC Action News searched for another innovative way to keep students safe.

Preventing the attack is why ‘Report It’ was born.

Anthony Lavalle, the CEO for the app, said it’s an anonymous reporting tool schools and districts can subscribe to.

The tips are sent via the app, directly to school administrators and even law enforcement if the school decides to set it up that way.

Another option comes from a veteran teacher turned inventor. 

“Me and this coach are holding this paranoid, and we are like nobody is getting in here, we are not letting go of a rope” Lance Sergeant, with Guardian Angel, said.

Lance was a teacher for 17 years in Missouri.

He says he was in the middle of an active shooter training when the idea hit him.

“There has to be something better than this,” he said.

That’s why he created the Guardian Angel, a device to keep doors secured and teachers and students inside, safe. 

The device is already in Broward Schools in Florida as well as 32 different states around the U.S.

“My first priority was to teach the kids, now my first priority is to keep these kids safe” Sergeant said.