A Dothan City School employee is receiving national attention

Published 07/21 2014 08:00PM

Updated 07/23 2014 06:24PM

Janice Horne is a wife, mother of two, and a middle school nurse, so safety is always on her mind. When she realized how antiquated the schools lock down system was she decided to do something about it.

Honeysuckle Middle School was using a system most schools still use. If the school went on lock down teachers were asked to place a red sign on the outside of their door if they needed help and a green sign if they were all right.

"It’s scary, even the drills are scary,” said Horne. “Because it’s the unknown, you have no idea what's going on outside those doors and then everyone has to be quiet, so then your mind just wonders what’s going on - is it real is it not real."

Janice developed an app called “My School Alert.” The app allows teachers and administrators to communicate using their cell phones during a lock down.

My school Alert lets the administrators know - how many kids have been accounted for, who needs help, medical tips and much more.

What started as a small idea sketched on paper is now being recognized nationwide.

“We were down in Destin doing a safety conference. We had the opportunity to present it to the state level at Florida. We also, at this time are working in the Atlanta area presenting it. We have a huge opportunity in the state of Mississippi to present and implement my school alert,” said Co-Founder Penny Thompson.

My School Alert is currently the only kind of app like its kind, according to Thompson. As of now it’s being used in the Dothan City Schools, Birmingham area and Pike County.

"We hope to see it spread in all 50 states. You know help to be utilized as a safety app throughout the schools,” Thompson said.

Not only would Horne and Thompson like to see it in all schools, but even other industries.

They have been contacted by hospitals, major corporations and daycares who all have interest in the app.

But nationwide or not Janice said she did it for the kids.

"My goal is that everyone is safe, because I know how I felt in a lock down. I have no intentions on quitting my job as a school nurse, none. It's my favorite,” said Horne.

For more information on the app you can visit Black Board Communications.

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