Technology alerts students to threat on campus
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
WAUKESHA, Wis. - Jessie Garcia teaches a broadcast news class at Carroll College, and says it can be challenging to get students to put away their phones during lectures.
But today , that technology is what alerted them to a problem on campus and helped to comfort them for 90 minutes. Garcia had a guest speaker in class on Tuesday morning, Jodi Becker from Newsradio 620 WTMJ, and had told students to put away their cell phones and pay attention. Not everyone listened. Correy Garswick was the first to see an alert from the school around 10:40 a.m.
"I was just in shock and I started to shake a little bit," said Garswick.
Garcia's classroom is located in the basement of New Hall with no windows, no closets, virtually nowhere to hide if a man with a gun walked in. That prompted some to sketch out their own escape plan.
"I had got my keys out of my bag and a can of mace and stuck it in my pocket because I didn't know if I was just gonna have to book it from class and run," said student Audrey Ericson.
Garcia told students she too had a plan and wanted to empower them.
"If something happens and we need to get out quickly, we're going out that door and we will run," said Garcia.
For about 90 minutes, Garcia's students found comfort from each other, and in reaching out to family and friends through social media.
"Immediately I texted my mom. I texted my roommate," said Garswick.
"I couldn't get reception down here so I couldn't hear her and she couldn't hear me and she was crying," said Ericson.
Garcia says she will never forget the day and she was looking forward to going home and giving her kids a hug.