At the start of the next school year, North Carolina middle and high school students will have a new tool to report threats to school safety. State Superintendent Mark Johnson introduced the “Say Something Anonymous Reporting System” at a press conference Thursday.
“Students will be able to download the app and, importantly, be able to report any kind of behavior they find troubling,” he said.
The app is free for users and is designed to encourage students to anonymously report tips about a wide variety of potential dangers, including weapons on campus, bullying incidents, drug use, or self-harm.
North Carolina will be the second state in the nation to launch the app, following Pennsylvania. The program is a partnership with Sandy Hook Promise, a violence prevention organization created by families of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting of 2012. The group will provide training to crisis center counselors to help them evaluate the tips that come in and contact authorities or school officials if necessary.
While parents will also have access to the app, officials stressed it will primarily be aimed at student users. Johnson said the app will offer a window into what’s going on inside schools and on social media.
“One of the most important pieces of the puzzle of school safety that we are very excited to be able to add, starting next year, is the student voice,” he said. “Students [have] a way to easily let us know any concerns.”
The reporting app was piloted in 70 schools throughout the state last year. Johnson said it will cost $650,000 a year to roll it out to all middle and high schools in North Carolina.