News Update

LAUSD rolls out new safety apps for students and staff

LAUSD rolled out new apps aimed at streamlining communication and improving safety on campus, during a board meeting Tuesday night.

The Los Angeles Times describes one app as being aimed at school employees in emergencies and the other as being aimed at students, staff, parents and other community members for non-emergency safety issues anonymously.

The first app functions as a sort of internal 9-1-1. It allows school employees to report an active assailant in progress by holding a button for three seconds. The alert automatically detects the location of the user, prompting an alert that goes to the top of the queue for school police. It allows users to text about their situation.

Students and others who want to report an active emergency are still urged to call 9-1-1.

The second app, Los Angeles Schools Anonymous Reporting or LASAR, is aimed at non-emergency situations, such as vaping in the bathroom, graffiti, compromised fence or other potential threats. The app allows video or photos to be uploaded, and it includes geolocation information.

“The ability for the community, for students and the workforce for example, to automatically real-time relay, in an anonymous way or not, potential threats to a student, to a school, is critically important,” said L.A. schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho.

Board member Nick Melvoin expressed concern that the district was rolling out too many apps at once, which could be confusing. At the same board meeting, the district also rolled out an app aimed at parents who want to check in on their student’s progress and another with general district information.

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