Ohio Private Schools Get State Safety Funding

An Ohio private school has taken advantage of a state grant program to deploy a panic button system. Ruffing Montessori School in Rocky River has adopted Tattletale, distributed by Argus Agents, a school security provider. When a teacher or staff member pushes the panic button, an alert is sent to key administrators in the school as well as the local public safety dispatch.

The 300-student school funded the project with a grant from an Ohio School Security Grant Program set up by the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC). The program reimburses public and chartered nonpublic schools for emergency communication systems up to $2,000 or entrance access systems up to $5,000. Previously, private schools were excluded from the funding because grant applications were limited to public schools.

"Our schools are underfunded, and grants like the OSFC are essential to improve student safety. In many applications a $2,000 grant can fully cover the cost of a Tattletale Panic Button System," said CEO David Wahl.

According to Sales Director Tom Reilly, the button can be installed on the wall as a wired mount, similar to a fire alarm, or it can operate wirelessly and be worn on a lanyard. He added that in some installations the button is issued to every adult working at the site. In other cases it's checked out by the teacher as he or she leaves the school building while on playground duty, for example.

Reilly said his company has worked with about 20 schools in Ohio. Installation is typically done after school hours. The device has a half-mile radio-frequency range to communicate with the base station located at the school. That base station uses cellular communication to notify others in the event of an emergency.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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