Shawnee Public Schools and districts across the state now have access to a free phone safety app which will improve security and safety for students, educators and other faculty and staff.

According to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister, schools will be able to use the Rave Panic button app which is provided by Rave Mobile Safety.

It enables users to connect with 911, first responders and send a text alert to school staff in case of an emergency all at the same time.

According to SPS Superintendent April Grace, Shawnee will be one of several K-12 public schools to utilize this app.

"At Shawnee, we are always looking for ways we can make our schools safer and more secure. We appreciate the Oklahoma State Department of Education and Rave Mobile Safety for making the app available to schools across the state," Grace said. "We look forward to learning more about this tool and how it can be useful for our school sites."

Hofmeister and representatives of the education and law enforcement communities discussed the benefits of the Rave Panic Button in a news conference Wednesday at Norman North High School. Norman Public Schools implemented the Rave Panic Button last school year.

“Oklahoma schools are not immune to threats, whether in the form of severe weather, fire or a school intruder. Ensuring the safety of every student is our foremost priority,” Hofmeister said. “Children cannot learn unless their basic needs, including a sense of safety, have been met. This is an effective safety enhancement that can be held in the palm of one hand. We are pleased to offer it to our districts and are confident it will help us foster a culture of safety in every school and district where it is utilized.”

The Rave Panic Button app delivers critical data such as location and school floorplans to 911 and first responders when someone activates it. It allows them to coordinate a faster, more effective response to any type of school emergency.

The app will provide enhanced safety to nearly 700,000 students and more than 85,000 teachers in Oklahoma.

The Rave Panic Button has been introduced to all 50 states and is used by schools across the country

Funding for statewide implementation was secured after state leaders added $3 million to the common education budget.

“We live in a day of a great deal of uncertainty, especially when it comes to security in our schools,” said Sen. Roger Thompson, Senate Appropriations Chair. “The Rave Panic Button is a proven resource to assemble first responders immediately. I was honored to be an active part of the conversation that resulted in additional funding for this program.”

According to Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Education, the app will insure the future of the state.

“Oklahoma’s future depends on its children, and we owe it to them and to our state to make sure they are able to thrive,” Pemberton said “This technology will give them, their families and their school district an enhanced safety tool so the focus is where it should be – on education.”

Rave Panic Button is provided through Rave’s partnership with AT&T. For more details, visit Interested districts can sign up to deploy the Rave Panic Button here.