SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco’s public school district wants students to speak up.
Starting next school year, students will be encouraged to use an anonymous system to report school threats they’ve seen or overheard, as well as sexual harassment, self-harm, abuse, bullying, and depression.
The “Say Something Anonymous Reporting System” will launch this fall in 40 schools for students in grades 6-12, the San Francisco Unified School District announced Friday.
All students in middle and high schools will receive training for how to use the system. The Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, the national nonprofit organization that provides the SS-ARS, will offer on-site training in September.
“The Say Something Anonymous Reporting System is for any type of serious concerns about students who may be struggling or potentially violent. Tipsters can send reports on anything from school threats they’ve seen or overheard to personal crises,” SFUSD wrote.
Students can make reports and send tips 24/7 through a mobile app, website, or telephone hotline to the National Crisis Center for analysis and response.
The Crisis Center will notify school-based representatives when credible tips are received. In cases of an imminent threat, the Crisis Center will alert 911 dispatchers.
The new system will help school administrators and public safety officials to work together to effectively prevent shootings, suicide, bullying, self-harm and other forms of violence and victimization, according to SFUSD.
“Schools may request police assistance on campus when necessary to protect the physical safety of students and staff; as required by law; or when appropriate to address criminal behavior of persons other than students,” SFUSD wrote.
District superintendent Vincent Matthews said, “We actively work to cultivate trusting relationships at schools and want to make sure students know that they can always talk to a teacher, principal or another adult at their school. However, we know that some students feel more comfortable sharing anonymously, especially if they feel afraid or upset. Giving students a system to anonymously report a concern is another way we can provide an opportunity to ask for help.”
In the wake of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers, schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area are bolstering security on campus.
The San Francisco Police Department stepped-up patrols near schools this week.
The San Francisco Police Department tweeted, “Our officers regularly train with firefighters, paramedics, and local law enforcement agencies on responding to, mitigating, managing, and recovering from an active shooter incident. At this time the community can expect to see an increased police presence near city schools.”