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School badge with buttons helps Sartell school with safety

A teacher presses one of four buttons on the badge to signal for help.

SARTELL, Minn. — A school in central Minnesota is the first in the country to try a new system aimed at helping keep students safe. 

BadgeMessenger is a pilot program at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Sartell. It's a school badge with four buttons on it. The buttons signify the need for help, medical, maintenance, or an emergency.

When a teacher presses it, it signals the command center in the main office. The person in the office then decides what to do from there.

BadgeMessenger is the brainchild of teacher Stephanie Pederson and her entrepreneur husband, born out of a conversation about how hard it could be for teachers to reach the main office.

"That was something that sent an idea into my head and I sat down with my husband, who loves to solve problems," said Pederson.

Stephanie's husband then approached fellow entrepreneur, Dave Sexton. Together, they created BadgeMessenger.

"It's a two-way communication device that's dedicated for communicating between the office and the user, which in this case is a teacher," Sexton said.

The person operating the command center in the main office can send help, ranging from sending a janitor to clean up a mess or initiating a lockdown.

"This just makes you feel like in an instant I can get help," Pederson said.

Sexton says BadgeMessenger hopes to branch out to more schools soon and eventually make badges for businesses.

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