A new program introduced to Southmoreland School District called the “Safe2Say Something” anonymous reporting system to help improve school safety. The program can be accessed by computer or mobile device.
In a powerpoint format, students were introduced to the program that allows students to leave tips via their app or on their website.
The program was introduced in the middle school Jan. 14 and was then brought to the high school three days later.
“These kinds of problems extend as far down as the elementary school,” said high school math teacher and parent of elementary school student Mrs. Carrie Bisher. “It’s not just a high school problem; kids in middle school, elementary school, really every grade level deal with threats of violence, and it’s no laughing matter.”
Too often students encounter troubling messages on social media or hear a threat made against themselves or other students. Unfortunately, these threats or troubling messages are not always taken seriously.
According to a 2016 study by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 13.15 percent of suicides were committed by people aged between 15 and 24 and about 0.7 percent by adolescents under 15.
The same study also says that four out of five times there are warning signs given by the teens and young adults that end up taking their own lives.
The program also distinguishes it is meant to be used as a tool to help give students whatever help they may need in regards to their tendencies and not be used to simply “get students in trouble.”
“The system will notify the school listed at the focal point of the threats and police will be notified,” the powerpoint states. “Students that make the reports will then receive a code so they can access updates and follow up reports regarding the situation they reported.”
“I have pretty fair expectations, I think the kids will take it seriously,” said high school principal Mr. Daniel Krofcheck. “This is serious stuff, and I know we’re mature enough as a district to handle it.”
Other districts such as Mount Pleasant, Yough and Belle Vernon have also introduced the program.
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