NEWTOWN, Conn. — Authorities seized a loaded gun from a high school locker in Cumberland County, North Carolina after Cumberland County Schools’ officials received an anonymous tip about the weapon through the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (ARS), WNCN reported Wednesday.
Sandy Hook Promise created the Say Something ARS to empower students to act on what they see and hear, in order to help those who may be in crisis and avert potential tragedies. Extensive research, including a federal report on Averting Targeted School Violence, proves that by learning the warning signs and getting help, violence can effectively be prevented.
“I’m grateful for the bravery of the student Upstanders who spoke up about seeing a dangerous weapon on school grounds,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “Students are often the first to know about threats to their safety, so we as adults must empower them to speak up. We can do this by providing students with strong Trusted Adults and an easy, anonymous way to get help.”
The Say Something ARS was designed specifically for use by students in grades 4-12, and provides a mobile app, website, and 24/7 telephone hotline for users to submit tips. When credible tips are received, the National Crisis Center notifies school-based representatives. In cases of lives being in imminent danger, the local 911 dispatch and law enforcement are alerted.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction contracted with Sandy Hook Promise in 2019 to provide the Say Something ARS statewide – the second state to do so after Pennsylvania.
The North Carolina Center for Safer Schools, part of the Department of Public Instruction, piloted an app in five school districts in 2015 and 2016. In that pilot, the National Crisis Center received tips related to bullying (39 percent), danger (25 percent), drugs (24 percent), weapons (5 percent), fighting (5 percent); and underage drinking (2 percent). In 2018, the North Carolina General Assembly included development of a statewide app in the 2018-19 budget bill.
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) envisions a future where all children are free from school shootings and other acts of violence. As a national nonprofit organization, SHP’s mission is to educate and empower youth and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes, and communities. Creators of the life-saving, evidence-informed “Know the Signs” prevention programs, SHP teaches the warning signs of someone who may be in crisis, socially isolated, or at-risk of hurting themselves or others and how to get help. SHP also advances school safety, youth mental health, and responsible gun ownership at the state and federal levels through nonpartisan policy and partnerships. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.
Ali Tadayon | [email protected] | 203.304.9780 ext. 279