My School Alerts sounds like a good idea. It is a U.S based free service that allows schools to instantly pass messages to all pupils,parents and staff.
Lipstick wearing pit bull terriers* will love it ; teachers will hate it and security forces will want it switched off. Why isn't this an ideal candidate for the JustEnoughTechnology award? For the vast majority of schools nothing much happens which needs to be broadcast to pupils and parents. Whilst it would be nice to be able to press a button and tell everyone that school is closed by bad weather this needs to be balanced by the need to keep contact details up to date and controlling mis-use by computer literate pupils , so it's easy to see that teachers would be uninterested.
But, what parents are really concerned about is the nightmare of wild gunmen , or gunboys. Surely passing instant messages to all pupils would save lives. The sad fact is that we don't live in the movies and policemen don't have magic powers. In "an incident" all that security forces can do is aggressively control a perimeter whose size depends on the range of the weapons being used. Anything else is a dangerous distraction . Having herds of terrified children rushing about driven by text messages not authorised and issued by the on scene commander is the real nightmare. This leaves us with the Moms. School managers will need to withstand the forceful pleas of control freak parents. otherwise we risk using too much technology to try and solve a problem that just needs training, maturity and common sense to solve.
*Note to non-American readers. My quote refers to the joke from Alaska Governor Mrs Palin when she said that the only difference between a hockey mum like herself and a pit bull was "lipstick".