PORTLAND – If Skyline Elementary School had an auto-dialing absentee system in place, Kyron Horman’s family would have been notified that he was not in school around 10 a.m., instead of finding out just before 4 p.m.

While he still may not have been found immediately, the automated tool would have given his family and police a much bigger advantage in finding the young boy, by launching a search effort much earlier.

Now, the Portland School District has announced that Kyron’s disappearance has prompted them to implement the auto-dialing system at every school. Currently, it functions in all high schools and middle schools, but only a select number of elementary schools within the district.

School district spokesman Matt Shelby said the auto-dialing system was set up to deter truancy and that was why they thought it was unnecessary at most elementary schools. But the circumstances around Kyron’s disappearance showed that it can be a powerful safety tool as well.

Shelby said it may take up to a week to install the equipment for the automated system into all the elementary schools. He said 20 schools currently do not use it, including Skyline Elementary, where Kyron vanished.

In addition, Shelby said every visitor on school grounds will have to sign in and wear a visitor’s badge while on campus.

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