JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY - It's a little red button with the potential to make a big impact for school safety in Onslow County.
A new alert system can call for help if a student needs medical attention, or simply notify school administrators that a student is absent. But the big reason the system was installed is to assist in a situation that could involve an active shooter.
It's a silent alert device only visible to Onslow County school staff, faculty, responders and law enforcement.
Kecia Metty is a mother of two boys, with one going into kindergarten this fall.
"For me, I feel more at ease that, you know, things can get done quicker, people can get there, and hopefully get them out faster," said Metty.
Stephanie Haraway also has two boys, with one enrolled in Onslow County Schools. She said this is just the start of making school security better.
"They also need to step up a little bit more on their security, but they're going on the right track," said Haraway.
Representatives from North Carolina Sound showed the principals how to use this new system. It's a system that will open up on all staff computers every morning. All a teacher needs to do is click the red button to highlight his/her room indicating an emergency.
That alert would then be sent to the school resource officer and six administrators at the Onslow County Schools central office. Those people would then either call 911 or hit a red panic button.
When law enforcement officers show up on scene, they can log in either on their laptop or phone to find the location of the emergency.
Onslow County Schools Director of Safety and Security Dusty Rhodes said the district had 19 bomb threats last year alone. Having a crisis lockdown alert status system helps him sleep better at night.
"We're stopping the lag process. They're not having to, 'Well we have a gunman on campus.' No, they're already en route. They're showing up with calvary and they're coming to help," said Rhodes.
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