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MIT Technology Review

School lockdowns are so prevalent that companies are making apps to help teachers manage them

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A new app lets school administrators send an emergency lockdown notification to their entire staff and communicate with teachers to see if they’re safe.  

The details: TABS—which stands for “Tracking Appropriate Behaviors”—rolled out on Tuesday. It’s a web-based app meant for use on laptops and smartphones that combines tools for keeping an eye on students with ways for schools to automatically enact lockdown procedures. It’s designed as a way to keep staff members in touch with each other during emergencies such as school shootings.

It’s not alone: As if the need for one app weren’t horrifying enough, TABS is just the latest to include this kind of lockdown capability. App makers apparently expect that schools will want to have them handy at a time when on-campus shootings regularly dominate headlines. 

Why it matters: School shootings are still rare, but dozens of people have been killed across the country this year alone. According to a tally by the Washington Post, more US school shootings occured in 2018 than in any other year since 1999.