Pennsylvania School for Disruptive Students Adopts RFID Pendant for Staff, Students

Westmoreland Intermediate Unit (WIU) 7 Crossroads School has adopted radio frequency identification (RFID) pendants, citing a desire to better protect students and staff and deescalate altercations.

The school provides "alternative education for disruptive youth," heightening "the potential for disorderly or sometimes violent behavior that could require intervention by professionals trained in the de-escalation of disruptive and potentially dangerous episodes," according to a news release.

The Help Alert pendants from RF Technologies allow staff to discretely summon assistance in the case of conflicts, medical emergencies or other situations with the push of a button.

The school chose Help Alert for its ability to use the existing Wi-Fi network and access points for location estimation instead of installing costly additional infrastructure. Wi-Fi-based reference tags were also added in areas where supplemental location information was needed.

"Help Alert has provided our teachers and staff with an effective means of immediately communicating their need for assistance," said Nicholas Falcon, principal of WIU Crossroads School, in a news release. "Alerts yield a greater staff presence in areas experiencing conflict; therefore, students are deterred from inappropriate behavior." He added, "When we talk about logistically trying to communicate a need from a classroom, I would say we’ve cut that down to seconds where it used to be minutes."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].