In the immediate wake of two of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history, Americans stare at the aftermath and wonder why. We ask why, and how do we keep this from happening again?
Amid inaction around gun or mental health policy, an increasing number of American schools are turning to technology to mitigate, and possibly prevent, shootings. One of the growing number of companies aiming to meet the demand is PikMyKid, a four-year-old Tampa-based school-focused startup that sells an app that helps parents and teachers track students during and after pickup times. Earlier this year, it added a new feature aimed at keeping kids safe during emergencies like an active shooter: a panic button that allows school employees to quickly notify first responders of their location, and send them blueprints of school buildings.
Eventually, Pat Bhava, the company’s CEO and founder, hopes the system could even prevent shootings. “We have so much to do,” he said.
Originally, the app was focused on addressing the chaos of end-of-day dismissals: by showing where parents or caregivers are parked in a school pickup line, the company says it can shorten the time it takes to pick up children, and help schools make certain that the right kid is getting in the right car. Bhava, who is Indian, said he got the idea after his daughter’s school “put a white girl in the car.”
As PikMyKid began managing the traffic flow in and out of schools, he heard a new client demand from school administrators. “They needed to cut down the reaction time from when an incident happens to when the first responders and the entire…