McKinley grad at Yale helps develop app for school shooting response

    Baton Rouge native Daniel James is working with a team of fellow Yale University students to develop an app that aims to streamline and quicken schools’ and law enforcement’s response to school shootings and other emergencies.

    James, a 2015 McKinley High School graduate, is in the process of getting the PREPARED app implemented at 18 Louisiana schools—including his alma mater—as well as a school in Boston. Verbal agreements have also been made to have the app introduced at schools in the Birmingham-area, and he’s also talking with Los Angeles school officials to introduce the technology into West Coast schools.

    The app offers three user interfaces—one each for students, teachers and administrators—that’s designed to be easy to use in high-stress situations. By holding down a single button in the app for several seconds, teachers and students can notify administrators and law enforcement of an emergency, and administrators can issue alerts to lockdown the campus.

    He was inspired to join the team by a close encounter with guns while in high school. While there wasn’t a mass shooting event on campus, James says the incident made him passionate about finding a better solution to responding to an emergency event on campuses.

    “I still felt helpless at that point,” James recalls. “Everyone knows active shooters are an epidemic in the country and across the world.”

    The team began research for the app last year and started developing and promoting the product to schools in January. He cited Yale’s support for the quick development of the technology, which was recently named this year’s top tech-enabled startup at the university, earning a $25,000 check.

    James, a political science student, plans to work on developing and promoting the app full-time once he graduates this year.

    For more on these Yale entrepreneurs, click here.

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