Use of school safety smartphone app expands across Louisiana
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Education is encouraging school systems across the state to adopt the free Crimestoppers GNO Safe Schools Louisiana Program and its Say It Here smartphone app.
The app allows middle and high school users to anonymously report violence, criminal activity, bullying, mental issues, and more. According to leaders, the tips are monitored around the clock and processed by a multidisciplinary team identified by schools.
“Too often when violence happens on a school campus, someone knew about the attack before it happened,” said Louisiana State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “Safe Schools Louisiana is a fast, easy, and anonymous way for people who see something to say something.”
In the Baton Rouge area, schools in Livingston Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Zachary, Central, Baker, East Feliciana Parish, Pointe Coupee Parish, and Assumption Parish are already using the app or have started the adoption process. In total, nearly 40 school systems across Louisiana are participating.
“So, this is not just about taking weapons off the campus or drugs off the campus, which is incredibly important, but it’s certainly wrapping ourselves around all the other messages that every teen could face,” said Darlene Cusanza, President and CEO of Crimestoppers, Inc. In suicide threats, 67% of the kids who have threatened suicide or self-harm, they’re going to tell their friends before they tell an adult. And I can say that wholeheartedly because this week, we had two suicide attempts where tips were called in from their friends and we were able to have interventions for those two kids.”
The program is a partnership between the Louisiana Department of Education, Crimestoppers GNO, Louisiana State Police, and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
Click here for more on the program and smartphone app.
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