Amara Del Prato
In the wake of what has been deemed a national gun violence epidemic, Lodi Unified School District has implemented the Say Something anonymous reporting system in hopes of protecting schools in the district from such tragedies and developing a safe learning environment.
Designed and promoted by Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) — a nonprofit organization committed to deterring gun violence — the system allows children and adults to anonymously report suspicious behavior, bullying, mental health issues and drug abuse through their website, over the phone or on their mobile app. Sandy Hook was the scene of an elementary school shooting school in 2012; SHP was founded by several parents of children lost in the tragedy.
The purpose of the Say Something system is to optimize and streamline the process of reporting suspicious or dangerous behavior.
First, students submit a tip electronically. They will then receive a report ID and password so submitters can follow up on their tips. The crisis center then reviews the submissions before sending it to law enforcement and/or school administrators. The crisis center posts status updates as the case progresses and, if needed, the crisis center can continue contact anonymously through the app.
“I think the system is good,” junior Isaac Barney said. “You never know if the person [you report] is going to come back to get you; if it’s anonymous, it’s safer.”
Administration hopes the new system will allow them to be more informed.
“We’re responding really quickly,” Asst. Principal Dennis To said. “We need people to report or let us know. The thing that scares me is I think more than one student knew about the incident [in which a student brought a gun to Bear Creek earlier this school year] and only one student came forward. What about the rest? Students need to report right away.”