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Safety in Schools: There’s an App for That

Jacob Towne, Staff Writer

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The Say Something Anonymous Reporting System is a program created by the Sandy Hook Promise foundation. The system promises to keep schools safe by creating an easily accessible and anonymous portal to take tips that can stop threats before they happen. Currently, the program is set to launch on November 7th in RSU 21, making it the first district in the state alongside RSU 57 to adopt it. When the program is launched, students will be trained on how to use the system and how to identify threats.

The system is operated on three platforms: an app, a website, and a call center. Students will have the power to anonymously report activities that they deem a threat through one of the platforms. All tips are then transferred to a crisis center, operated by trained professionals who assess and sort them into two categories: life safety and non-life safety.

Non-life safety tips prompt the crisis center to contact school officials, who then assess the situation and act on it based on district rules. When the center receives a life safety tip, they first contact local police, followed by school officials, and lastly district officials and the crisis team. Since life safety tips are a general category, the protocol that follows after all groups are contacted is dependent on the specific situation. Once a tip has been submitted, it’s immediately assessed and acted upon, as the center is open 24/7.

This program places a great emphasis on its anonymity. All of the data containing the tips is owned by the school district and protected by state and federal government. There are very, very few exceptions to the rule. If a life safety tip is based on a user threatening self harm, the state is authorized to break the anonymity of the user to prevent the situation from escalating. Additionally, any users repeatedly abusing the system can have their anonymity broken after the district requests a court order.

As the program’s launch date comes closer, you can expect to see signs around the school. The SAVE club (a student-run program through Sandy Hook Promise) hopes to build awareness about the tip-line through posters, floor decals, and stickers. Additionally, there may be student led “awareness events” to remind students of the program and to encourage its usage. If you’re interested in joining, the SAVE club is synonymous with the Wellness club and meets every other Wednesday mornings before school.

 

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Safety in Schools: There’s an App for That