Featured image for article
Group Of Children Sitting In Mall Using Mobile Phones

CJ Commentary: On school safety, smarter strategies for preventing harm

This week, Carolina Journal published an opinion piece by education writer Kristen Blair. Blair’s piece focused on the upcoming implementation of “Say Something,” a smartphone application that allows students to submit anonymous tips about threats they see on social media or in school. Blair writes:

There’s much to applaud about Say Something. It’s intuitive, easy. Students submit tips using the app, website, or hotline. Categories include suicide threat, bullying, bragging about an attack, and more. A crisis center evaluates tips, referring them to school teams or 911 dispatch, if warranted.

According to Blair, the evidence supports the implementation of such a reporting system:

Most kids say they’d use a reporting system, if assured of anonymity. There’s no fear of reprisal. Knowing and reporting warning signs is key: In four of five school shootings, someone knew of a perpetrator’s intent but didn’t report. Among those committing suicide, 70% shared plans or warning signs beforehand, SHP notes.  

The program will be rolled out in middle and high schools across the state this coming school year:

State statute requires every public middle and high school to implement anonymous reporting systems, effective July 1. Districts can choose any system meeting state guidelines but Say Something, funded through General Assembly allocation, costs them nothing.

…“Roughly 70% of the 115 school districts and close to 80% of the charter schools have already signed on for the program,” says Joe Maimone, chief of staff at N.C.’s Department of Public Instruction. The rest have other systems in place. 

According to Blair, Say Something is set to “go live” on November 1, 2019.

Read the full story here. Learn more about Prek-12 education in North Carolina here.

Brenee Goforth / Marketing and Communications Associate

Reader Comments