Special to SVLfreenews.com
The N.C. Department of Public Instruction has contracted with Sandy Hook Promise to provide a statewide Say Something anonymous reporting system.
The app will launch in Iredell County in the coming weeks. The Say Something program, which includes an anonymous mobile tip app, is a school safety program designed to change and save lives by teaching students and educators not only to recognize signs of young people at risk, but also to connect them to the right people via a mobile tip line.
In the Iredell-Statesville Schools, student training on the Say Something app will happen during the week of November 18-22. The goal of the school district is to make sure that every middle and high school student is knowledgeable and has access to the Say Something app so that it can be used to connect those in crisis to others who can help.
Superintendent Brady Johnson said he is confident that the new app will be beneficial to students and to administration.
“We have made a true effort to connect to the whole child and serve them both academically and emotionally," Johnson explained. "We realize that many students are dealing with a myriad of issues, and we want them to feel confident to communicate with adults who care. This app will allow us to provide assistance to students in need at the times that they need it. We are confident that partnerships with agencies in our community and across the state will make our schools safer places to learn and grow. ”
Iredell County Emergency Communications (ECOM), the Iredell Sheriff's Office, the Iredell-Statesville School District and other local law enforcement agencies are working together to make sure there is a smooth roll out of the app. I-SS and ECOM personnel have received thorough training in how the process will work to provide optimum and timely service.
Sheriff Darren Campbell said implementing the app will require coordination among emergency communications, law enforcement officers and the school district.
"Tips will be broken down into two different categories, life threatening and non-life threatening," he said. "Life-threatening tips will be dispersed to law enforcement while non-life threatening tips will be directed to the school system. Getting real-time information is key to preventing violence."
ECOM personnel went through a test of the Say Something app on October 23. During the test, telecommunicators were evaluated on their ability to process simulated tips. ECOM received verification of compliance and are ensured that they are ready to receive these tips and dispatch them to the proper authorities as necessary, according to ECOM Director Candy Miller.
"We are proud to be part of this initiative, taking a proactive approach in providing a resource that will encourage students to report potential threatening situations,” Miller said.
Parents of I-SS students will receive more information and details on the Say Something app in the coming weeks.
About the The Sandy Hook Promise
Founded out of the tragic school shooting in Newtown Connecticut, the organization believes that, “By uniting people of all beliefs and backgrounds who value the protection of children to take meaningful actions in their homes and communities, we will prevent gun violence and stop the tragic loss of life.”