Students need to pay attention to Amber Alerts

ALERT IGNORED. Amber Alerts could come at any time and any place, yet most middle school students ignore them.

Photo Illustration/JESSYCA COOK

ALERT IGNORED. Amber Alerts could come at any time and any place, yet most middle school students ignore them.

It could happen anywhere: at a doctor’s appointment, a birthday party or even while mowing the lawn. The eerie sound of an Amber Alert appears on a phone screen to warn that a child is missing. Most people turn off the alert and move on. That’s a mistake.

An Amber Alert is a “Wireless Emergency Alert” sent by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to let the public know that a child is missing. It’s a message sent through cell phones. Wireless Emergency Alerts can also be about the weather, a threat and problems in an area.

Middle school students don’t pay much attention to Amber Alerts. Most times, they completely ignore them.

When the alarm goes off in the middle of class, the sound snitches on students. Teachers know that the student has their phone on. Generally speaking, most middle school students think Amber Alerts are annoying because of this reason.

Around 400 to 600 kids go missing in Tennessee every month. Some cases date back as early as 1969. Right now, 5 are subject to Amber Alerts and 14 are listed as endangered, according to the TBI.

Students need to read Amber Alerts more often.

There are nearly 800 students that attend John Sevier Middle School. Each one has their own personal life, families, friends and lifestyles. When they leave school, they could easily run into a missing child or spot a suspected kidnapper’s car. They could see something that could help bring another kid home safely.

If, for one second, every middle school student in Tennessee picked up their phones and read the message that the TBI sent, they could help bring missing kids home.

If it’s important enough for the TBI to send a message to every phone in the state, then middle school students should be worried, as well. The police aren’t trying to get likes or views; they’re trying to spread awareness.

What if there was a girl missing that you knew? What if the person that was declared missing was your best friend or a family member? Would you want every person in the state to look at their phone and help bring them home?

Amber Alerts are not the only kind of alerts that the WEA allows the government to send. There could be a bomb threat at the school, or severe whether, or even a potential school shooting.

Would you want to put everyone’s life in danger because you’re simply “too busy” to check your phone? Middle school students check their phones for all sorts of things. Why not for emergency alerts?

It’s not just the students’ fault. Some of it is the teachers, too. Teachers probably think emergency alerts in the middle of class are as annoying as the students do. They make it even more difficult for kids to have their phones out to check Amber Alerts.

In the end, kids and teachers both need to pay more attention to Amber Alerts. It takes every Tennessean, even middle school students, to prevent more kidnappings.

Pick up our phone and look at the problem. Maybe then we can fix it.