February 14, 2008


Missing Student Found Alive
Disapperance raises questions about college's emergency text-messaging system

By Miguel M. Morales

Hours after canvassing Johnson Count Community College, Overland Park Police located missing student, Rachael Renee Wooldridge, in Lawrence, Kan.

A bus driver reportedly recognized Wooldridge and called police. OPPD did not reveal Wooldridge's condition or the circumstances of her disappearnce pending futher investigation.

Earlier today, Wooldridge called her father to pick her up from school. When he arrived, he found only her jacket and backpack on a bench in front of the Carlsen Center.

Campus security began searching for Wooldridge shortly after and released an alert four hours later on the college's electronic
listerve. However, the campus text-messaging service,
TXTJCCC, used to notify students of campus emergencies failed to alert the campus community that a student had gone missing.

The college started the TXTJCCC service in January 2007 and aggressively pushed the service following the tragedy at Virginia Tech. The service is in partnership with The Olathe News and Textcaster.

After an individual signs up for the TXTJCCC service, the college will send messages or e-mail to his or her cell phone, wireless PDA or pager. According to the college's
promotional video on the service's sign up page, text message options include campus reminders, trivia contests, merchandise deals, weather closings and emergencies.