Many school districts don't offer text emergency alerts; better chance locally

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, June 20, 2013

When a fugitive wanted by the FBI was spotted in the Madison area May 2, the Verona Area School District went into lockdown for more than two hours.

But many parents were unaware of the lockdown and of a manhunt launched by authorities. Text and email alerts were sent, but most parents of the district’s 5,000 students were not signed up to receive them.

In response to complaints from parents, Verona Superintendent Dean Gorrell pledged to start automatically signing up parents for text messages and other emergency communications when they register their students next fall.

“Timing is everything,” Gorrell said. “You don’t have those kind of emergency situations come up very often and when you do you’d like to be able to reach people.”

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