• School told woman son can't have emergency alert responder


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A classroom controversy is simmering in Orange County after the mother of a kindergartner bought him an emergency alert device in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.

    But the district is worried about emergency responders being called by accident, and they're not allowing the 5-year-old to bring the device to school anymore.

    Officials said the fear is that if every student was equipped with one of the emergency devices, there could be police and firefighters called to the school every day for no reason.

    But Crystal Ricardo said her son's safety is worth fighting the district over.

    "I bought this device so my son can be protected when he's not around me," she said.

    By pushing a button on the device, authorities are alerted.

    For two months, Ricardo's son wore the emergency alert device around his neck to Southwood Elementary School. She said she worries about her son's safety every day she drops him off at school.

     "(I am concerned) with school shootings, teachers abusing kids, kidnapping, and kids running away," she said.

    But school officials recently banned the boy from bringing the device to class. The district is concerned that if they boy does accidentally press the device he'll create a false emergency at the school.

    "I've explained to them, it's not how it works," said Ricardo.

    Orange County Public School's attorney said, "Administrators are reviewing the impact of permitting this device on our campuses."

    Depending on their decision, Ricardo may wage a legal fight.

    "I have a right to protect my child," she said.

    Ricardo and the school last spoke a week ago. Depending what's decided, Ricardo said she may also have to pull her son out of Orange County Public Schools.

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