LOS ANGELES — Schools trying to protect kids from mass shootings are turning to gunshot detection systems, cellphone apps and artificial intelligence — a high-tech approach designed to reduce the number of victims.
Technology that speeds up law enforcement’s response and quickly alerts teachers and students to danger is a growing tool amid rising concerns over the inability to prevent shootings like the one last week at a suburban Denver high school. An 18-year-old student who rushed one of the gunmen died.
While a focus on gun control often emerges after school shootings, technology can be a less partisan solution that’s quick to implement — though some experts say funding preventive mental health resources should be the priority.
“We’ve kind of reached this state of frustration where we (feel like we) can’t protect our students,” said Dennis Kenney, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “What we’re trying to do is find some technological fix, and there isn’t one.”
Districts nationwide are recognizing that and instituting an approach that combines technology with mental health programs, bullying prevention and security officers.