Alerting app said to have helped Conroe ISD police quickly respond to Grand Oaks HS student with gun

ByKaren Alvarez KTRK logo
Friday, March 31, 2023
Alerting system to report school safety concerns adopted by Conroe ISD
Conroe ISD police say that thanks to the "Anonymous Alerts" app, they quickly responded and identified the Grand Oaks High School student found with a gun on Thursday.

CONROE, Texas (KTRK) -- Conroe ISD police say it was thanks to the app called "Anonymous Alerts" that they were able to respond quickly and identify the Grand Oaks High School student found with a gun.

"When you start talking about a student bringing a firearm onto campus, especially on the heels of the event in Nashville, it terrifies everyone and it can send people into a panic," Conroe ISD Police Chief Matthew Blakelock said.

SEE PREVIOUS REPORT: 2 students each found with gun at different Houston-area school districts, district police say

Two separate incidents involving students in possession of guns occurred at Conroe ISD and Cy-Fair ISD Thursday morning. We heard from the principals.

Blakelock said the district has used the Anonymous Alerts app since 2018 and encourages parents, educators, and students to download it from their district's page.

"It allows them to send a text message alert to our campus administration as well as to the police department 24 hours a day to report any type of concerning behavior," Blakelock said.

Whether real or fake, he says every alert and tip they receive is investigated.

"It gave us enough information to be able to identify someone very quickly," Blakelock said.

SEE ALSO: New safety rules to help strengthen schools against attacks could go into effect by spring, TEA says

The TEA says the measures could be just days away and would include stronger glass and safety inspections, but some education leaders say that might not be enough after Nashville's shooting killed six.

Michelle Gay, director of Safe and Sound Schools, a non-profit school safety advocacy and resource organization, lost her daughter in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

She applauds the district's quick response to the threat and believes it made a huge difference.

"That's powerful and that will lead to more students speaking up," Gay said.