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Cobb County parents demand answers about school safety after district announces new security system

The school district said they've entered a new contract with another security system.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — New safety measures for the upcoming school year were voted on Thursday by the Cobb County School Board, but parents still have questions about their crisis alert system that was hacked in 2021.

Cobb County parents said they want answers about how the district is working to keep their kids safe - right now - those parents said they are not getting them. 

"He says the system was unusable. We didn't know that," Parent Heather Tolley-Bauer said. 

Parents heard from the board that it never worked again after the AlertPoint system was hacked last year, prompting a false code red alert in Cobb’s 115 schools.

It was meant to be a crisis management tool where teachers could alert police to a threat at the press of a button.

Tolley-Bauer cofounded the Watch the Funds group in the county, which raised questions about the $5 million the district spent on the alert point system. 

"I wanted to know the school is thinking about it, and that the district is taking this seriously," she said.

The superintendent said they're now under contract with a new system.

"We want to explain and ensure to parents that student and staff safety is our top priority," Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said. "We must also ensure that our safety protocols, procedures, processes, and systems remain confidential publicly discussing these in a detailed manner will potentially and unnecessarily place the lives of our students and staff members in jeopardy."

11Alive asked the district how much money they spent on the new system, but they have not responded.

It's supposed to work a lot like the old system, and Tolley-Bauer said she hopes there are better results this time. 

"They told us time, and time again they were not trained, they did not have the badges, and I am confident that the district learned from that mistake and will not let that happen again," she said. 

She just wants to feel safe sending her son to school. 

"We entrust them with our children's hearts and minds, and unfortunately now, their lives. and we want to know that those hardworking people have the tools that they want, that they need, that actually work," she said.

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