What We're Talking About This Week - December 21st

Picture of Mary Kate McGrath By Mary Kate McGrath


In the News 

As the technology matures and proves its worth in sales, healthcare and other fields, a growing number of organizations are beginning to realize that predictive analytics also be used to make disaster recovery plans more accurate and perceptive. Campus Safety Magazine compiled highlights from the Federal Commission on School Safety report, which includes a variety of school safety topics such as mental health, active-shooter response, training, building hardening, etc. The publication also offered a guide to maintaining campus security during winter break, according to University of Southern California Campus Police Chief John Thomas. The federal commission led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recommended rescinding an Obama-era disciplinary guidance intended to reduce racial discrimination in school discipline. 

  • President Trump created the Federal Commission on School Safety after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, thought the commission notably did not make student survivors rally for gun control part of the work 
  • The recommendation on discipline is part of a broader effort to roll back Obama-era policies meant to reduce racial disparities in school, which the administration argues make schools more reluctant to address violent incidents 
  • A growing body of research showed that being suspended, expelled or arrested at school is associated with higher dropout rates and lifelong negative consequences. After the 2014 guidance, more than half the states revised laws to try and reduce expulsions and suspensions 
  • The action is just the most recent in a series of actions taken by DeVos to roll back Obama-era education policies citing federal overreach 

This Week From the Rave Team 

Read some of the stories our writers were most excited to share with you this week. To access all of our stories, check out our blog.  

How Technology Can Help Resolve the Issue of Student Mental Health in Higher Education 

student mental health in higher education

According to a clinical psychological review of “Birth cohort increases in psychopathology among young Americans”, levels of anxiety and depression among students have increased steadily since the end of the Great Depression. The review concludes the increase is attributable to a cultural shift towards an environment in which more and more young people experience poor mental health due to an increased focus on money, appearance, and status, rather than on community and close relationships. Here's how technology might be able to help. 


A Closer Look At Our Top 5 Workplace Safety Blogs 

shutterstock_395677888Our top 5 workplace violence blogs reveals common themes running throughout. Typically, these are attributable to a lack of employee engagement, which can be understandable if the systems in place to enhance the safety of employees are not ideal for the environment or are being fully utilized.The level of workplace violence in the United States is a difficult subject to quantify because of how it is defined. Whereas many people would consider the term “workplace violence” to cover acts of physical aggression in the workplace in which physical harm is suffered, the OSHA definition includes threats of physical aggression, any type of harassment, verbal abuse, and even passive aggression.


How Snohomish County 9-1-1 Initiated A School Evacuation Through An Emergency Alert App 

school emergency_editorial-shutterstockWhen a report came in of a gas leak near a school building in Snohomish County, Washington, the 9-1-1 dispatcher taking the report had to quickly communicate with school administrators. By connecting to an emergency alert app, all school staff were immediately notified and were able to initiate evacuation procedures. When the Snohomish County dispatcher tried the caller’s number back, no one answered. If the information received was true, the entire North Lake Middle School needed to be evacuated immediately to ensure the students and staff would be unharmed. With very little time to act and limited options, the dispatcher turned to the an emergency alert app. 


Rave News 

Brevard County, Florida schools now have a ‘panic button’ app to alert police to shootings, fires, and other emergencies. Spurred by February's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Brevard school officials wanted the Panic Button app,  seeing it as a way to shorten law enforcement's response time to schools and enhance communication among school staff during an emergency. "It’s what we need," school board chair Tina Descovich said. "It's not just for active shooter situations; it’s a direct line of communication between staff and law enforcement and fire departments and EMTs."

Read the whole story here. 




Mary Kate McGrath

Written by Mary Kate McGrath

Mary Kate is a content specialist and social media manager for the Rave Mobile Safety team. She writes about public safety for the state & local and education spheres.


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