School district accidentally sends out active shooter alert

Press release from Alachua County Public Schools

Earlier this morning, alert messages about an active shooter in Alachua County Public Schools were mistakenly sent out to all district families. These were TEST messages that were intended only to go to a handful of people to test the panic button mobile app for employees that was implemented in the district a few weeks ago.

The messages were followed up by messages saying the issue was ‘closed.’ We have also sent an email and text to all families letting them know this notification was a mistake and that there was no active shooter on a school campus.

The panic button alert system, which is state mandated, is only intended for school-based employees to report an active shooter situation on their campus to law enforcement and others on that campus. It is not a platform to notify families of emergency situations, which is currently done through our Skylert system.

  • In the real professional world, test messages are always sent with the words like TEST MESSAGE – never with a script that could be interpreted as a live event. These school officials will never learn.

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