POLK COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – Students across North Carolina will have access to a new school safety reporting system in the new school year.
Polk county parent Jeff Edwards says because of incidents like shootings at schools across the country school safety is crucial for parents like him.
“It’s always in the back of our minds,” said Edwards.
The state superintendent announced a reporting system for middle and high schoolers across North Carolina.
It’s an idea that stems from the mother of child who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Sandy Hook Promise created the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System which they say is being used by 5,100 schools nationwide.
Students can call a tip-line, use a website, or an app to send an anonymous tip.
A 24-7 crisis center splits tips into “life safety” or “non-life safety” and sends them to school officials or law enforcement.
“The anonymous part to me is a big deal because not a lot of 6th seventh graders want to come forward with things, and if they knew they’re not going to be cornered pinpointed or questioned or grilled or drilled, I think they’d speak up,” said Edwards.
The program also teaches students and educators how to recognize warning signs.. of those who may hurt themselves or others.
“Students play a critical role in helping to keep schools safe,” NC State Superintendent Mark Johnson said in a statement. “They may see and hear concerns that adults need to know about but may be reluctant to report it. With the Say Something program, middle and high school students will better understand what warning signs to look for and when and how to report important tips through an app. Making this app available will be an important part of our efforts to make schools safer.”
North Carolina is the second state to roll out the program statewide, behind Pennsylvania.
State education leaders will be working with local districts over the next few weeks to get the program started in the upcoming school year.