Gulfport High raising money for new active shooter alert technology

Security in schools is on the minds of parents in South Mississippi.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:42 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Security in schools is on the minds of parents in South Mississippi — especially on Thursday, just one day after two teens were arrested for bringing a gun to Gulfport High.

The Gulfport School District is now teaming up with one state Senator to bring active shooter warning technology to the high school campus. This has been in the works for around five months, and officials with the district say Wednesday’s incident only emphasizes the need for the additional safeguard.

Gulfport High is locked down daily, with strict access through the doors, live camera monitoring and instant radio communication. However, as students saw, it’s not impossible for someone to report to class while armed.

“It definitely puts things into perspective on the need for this type of technology system,” said Mississippi Senator Joel Carter.

Sen. Carter says he met the creator behind Alpha Alert Systems, a tool developed in response to the Nashville school shooting in March.

“Politicians talk about school safety all the time,” he added. “And I decided, ‘Look, why don’t I find a solution?’”

Sen. Carter is now working to have it installed at Gulfport High, the school he graduated from and one the district he represents is centered around today.

“We’ve got a good system in place,” said Superintendent Glen East. “This just makes it better and also gives teachers and students more comfort, because in the classroom, they will see that box every day.”

East says with Alpha Alert, teachers can instantly notify all other employees throughout the school, the district and even first responders all with one push of a button.

“If we have an issue, there’s somebody that’s going to be here very quickly when that box is armed,” East added.

“It’s my responsibility to make sure that they feel safe,” said Gulfport High principal Wendi Husley. “This gives me a good sense of security that this is coming.”

Husley has worked within the district for 25 years and with Gulfport High for the last decade — an eyewitness to the nation’s rise in gun-related violence in schools.

“It’s a fear,” she said. “It’s a fear we live with every day, even if you go out to restaurants or something like that. It’s a fear that everybody walks around with.”

Husley showed Alpha Alert’s I.T. director around the campus on Monday to assess the entrances, fencing, gates and courtyard area. It was also to ensure the school has the right power and equipment to support the new system.

“They’re very knowledgeable on what this can do and understand how our systems work and how school runs and the importance of making sure kids are safe, but that it doesn’t disrupt the environment,” Husley stated.

For details on donating to Gulfport High, you can email

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