Jacksonville teacher raises concerns over new school safety app feature

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There are new concerns tonight about a school safety app that is set to launch in local schools in just weeks. The school safety app allows teachers to report issues no matter how big or small.

I spoke to a teacher who says one feature may cause delays in an emergency.

Now Duval County Schools Safety app’s lead focus is to help teachers identify possible threats. But one DCPS teacher has concerns about how often the app makes you update your password.

The school safety app is called Raptor Alert.

“We’re supposed to be able to use this app to communicate because we can’t always be next to a telephone,” says the teacher.

This teacher, who wishes to remain anonymous over job concerns, says having to update your password at inconvenient times could mean the difference between life and death.

“If there’s an emergency, for instance how many of us are going to remember at that moment what our school password is because we have to change that every 90 days,” says the teacher.

Other local counties using the same app do not require a password update. Now it is an option to change your password before that 90-day deadline is up. The teacher thinks there are more convenient options.

“When you look at your phone and your face unlocks it,” says the teacher.

She’s talking about facial recognition.

A DCPS representative explains why passwords are necessary saying, “It’s to protect against hackers and other computer security threats.”

They also added that “updates to the app would not be pushed during school operating hours.”

So in the case of an emergency teachers would not be interrupted in any way.

The teacher also notes that no one has shown her how to use the app, but DCPS tells me that teachers do have access to online training resources and documentation about how to use the app.

Another concern? With all the devices in a school, the teacher says she worries about signal strength when using the app.

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