A series of Alachua County Public School (ACPS) test texts warning of an “active shooter alert” sent out on Thursday morning were mistakenly sent to all district families.
ACPS spokesperson Jackie Johnson said in a release that the text messages were intended to only go to a select group to test the panic button mobile app for employees that the district implemented recently.
“The messages were followed up by messages saying the issue was ‘closed,’” Johnson said in the release. “We have also sent an email and text to all families letting them know this notification was a mistake and that there was no active shooter on a school campus”
The texts were initially sent out during the 10 a.m. hour with the final text stating “All Clear” and “Test Only.”
“Our IT staff is still trying to sort out who got the message and how,” Johnson said in a Mainstreet email reply. “At the district office, we had about 10 to 15 phone calls. Some of those calls were from people concerned that they didn’t get the message when they thought they were supposed to.
“To address that concern, we’re going to send out another message to families this afternoon to explain that the Intrado system that sent out the original alerts is a mobile panic button app for school-based employees to notify and summon help from law enforcement and school administrators if there is an active shooter on their campus. It is not to alert families about emergency situations—we use our current School Messenger system for that.”
The Skylert system is the platform used to notify families of emergency situations.