Message system keeps parents updated during school emergencies - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Message system keeps parents updated during school emergencies

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CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Unfortunately, emergencies can happen when a child is at school. Recent incidents raised questions about how parents are kept informed during those situations in Calcasieu Parish.

"We have a wonderful tool that we utilize in emergency situations just like we saw this week with F.K. White and the bus accident yesterday," said Calcasieu Parish School Board Public Information Officer, Kirby Smith.

It's called School Messenger. School district officials said messages are sent out as fast as possible in emergency situations to inform parents of their child's safety.

"We have a record of who it calls at what time and if it talked to a person or it talked to a voicemail," said Sulphur High School 9th Grade Campus Principal, Chuck Hansen.

If a parent is not receiving a call, district officials said the answer may be simple.

"If we don't have the most recent number from them or a phone number they use most often, it's very difficult to get to them in a timely manner," said Smith.

Like in the recent case of the F.K. White Middle School bomb scare, where students were moved from the school for precautions to another location to be picked up. It's emergencies like these why officials said updated contact information is so important.

"Maybe numbers change or you have a home phone you rarely use and it's listed as your primary contact," said Smith. "It's really best to have the number you're around the majority of the day."

And while School Messenger is vital during an emergency, its uses vary.

"School Message is a great tool, because we can text also using that and we can call about report cards, progress reports, and it's a great way to communicate with the parents," said Hansen.

If a parent thinks they need to update information, visit their child's school office for help.

School board officials said they're also working on an easier way for parents to update information.

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