Student: More can be done for school safety

Mar 23, 2018

Sean Davis stood in front of a room filled with teachers, administrators and School Committee members on March 22. His voice was clear and even as he addressed the room, even as he spoke about one of his biggest fears—a school shooting.

The Old Rochester Regional Junior High School student and Mattapoisett resident attended the committee's meeting hoping to be proactive about student safety.

"In light of the recent Parkland shooting, I was concerned with safety of schools, and ability of a shooter to harm children," he told the audience. "We’ve seen that school shootings are on the rise. They’re a concern everywhere despite laws."

Davis said that he had attempted to look at a "preventative side," to help stop shootings before they occur.

"I found that there is a device called a Guardian," he told the committee.

The Guardian is a a sensor that can be placed on the wall of a school. According to Davis, it's "the size of a thin textbook."

The device uses infrared lights and a microphone, he explained. "It can immediately tell where a gunshot went off in the building and it instantly provides emergency responders with a map of the building, as well as where the shooter is."

The device would drastically reduce the chance of more deaths in school shootings, Davis said.

Members of the School Committee agreed to watch the video about the Guardian device that Davis had watched, and said he would likely be scheduled to discuss school safety with the committee at a future meeting.

“We’re very sorry you have to worry about your safety while at school. You should be able to focus on your education and nothing else," Old Rochester School Committee member Heather Burke told Davis.

"It’s part of what we think about," Davis told her, "It shouldn’t be, and maybe one day, we can make it so we don’t have to.”

His words received a large round of applause from the audience.