Limestone County Schools equip teachers to fight back in an active shooter situation

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Limestone County Schools are able to fight back against those who want to do harm to students. The school system was the first in the state of Alabama to have an armed school resource officer at every campus, and now they are breaking ground again being the first to implement a technology that will equip teachers to fight back against attackers.

The technology new technology is called SafeDefend. It’s a small box that will be in every room in the Limestone County School System. The device aims to mitigate response time, and protect student life all at the touch of a finger.  The days of depending on a “Main Office” to respond to an active shooter situation are long gone.

“In Sandy Hook the first 10-15 seconds he killed the principal, a teacher , teacher and secretary,” explained Limestone County Superintendent, Tom Sisk.

By having a device in every classroom, teachers and staff are able to take control of a situation instantly and implement an escape and evacuation plan in the case of an active shooter.

The box uses biometric technology to activate, meaning teachers and will use their thumbprint to open the box. The instant the SafeDefend is activated the exact classroom and school location is sent to all local and state first responders. This drastically reduces response time, shaving precious minutes off the arrival of aide.

Another benefit of the box are the lifesaving contents found inside.  Teachers and staff will be trained on how to use the non-lethal items inside the box to help distract and defend students. The school board does not wish to disclose what the items are kept inside for teacher to use.

“Not only does it allow teacher to notify authorities from any room it empowers teachers to fight back,” said Superintendent Sisk. “If somebody comes to Limestone County and tries to hurt our kids, we will defend them.”

The SafeDefend system will be fully implemented after the first of the year. The system cost the school board $350,000 to equip all schools with the potentially lifesaving technology.