Roanoke Rapids Graded Schools officially launching the “Say Something” Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS) today for students, which most North Carolina public school districts will be adopting this year to meet the reporting guidelines and standards developed by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and the Center for Safer Schools.
Say Something is a youth violence prevention program from the national nonprofit organization Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), which has funding to provide the program and training at no cost to the district.
The SS-ARS allows youth and adults to securely submit anonymous safety concerns – anytime, from anywhere – to help identify and intervene upon at-risk individuals before they hurt themselves or others. The system enables school administrators and law enforcement to create effective interventions and to help prevent violence, suicide, bullying, self-harm and other forms of threatening behavior.
“If a student needs to speak up about a concern – whether it’s about themselves or someone else – but they don’t know who to turn to, Say Something is here,” said Executive Director of the Center for Safer Schools, Bo Caldwell. “It’s a robust system that’s always on, always accessible, and it allows students to voice their concerns anonymously, while making sure their messages are heard by the right adults.”
Designed specifically for use by students in grades 6-12, SS-ARS provides three reporting platforms (mobile app, website, 24/7 phone hotline) for users to submit tips – and a crisis center to examine and triage those tips. When credible tips are received, the crisis center will notify school-based representatives, even after hours when tips are life-threatening and require immediate intervention. And, in cases of imminent threat, the crisis center will contact local 911 dispatch and involve law enforcement.
“We have posters in nearly every classroom and in the hallways of all of our schools to make students aware of the number they can call should they have a concern. These posters were designed by our school nurses and counselors to specifically address mental health issues that so many students face,” said Dain Butler, Superintendent.
The Say Something program is for reporting any type of serious concerns about students who are struggling or potentially violent. So “tipsters” can send reports on anything from school threats they’ve seen or overheard to personal crises including sexual harassment, self-harm, and depression.
Students can submit a tip through the online Say Something system by visiting www.saysomething.net directly, or navigate from the district and schools’ website homepages. The free app is available for download from the App Store and Google Play Store, and students can submit tips through the hotline by calling 1-844-5-SAYNOW.
As of January, 2,364 schools and school districts are participating in the Say Something system, with more than 1.7 million students and adults trained in the SS-ARS, according to Sandy Hook Promise. Locally, administrators and “Say Something” response teams at each school have been trained and middle and high school students are learning how to use the system during trainings in school this week.
Sample of poster in our schools