POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWNY) - Can an app help prevent school violence? Some Potsdam students say they would give it a try. It’s for relaying tips on students contemplating violence or suicide or bullying.
“If I knew that someone was going to possibly harm themselves or possibly get in trouble for something like this and I knew it would be better for them to stop, or get help... I think I would immediately think I need to do it,” said Rosie Hoover, Potsdam 9th grader.
It's called the “Say Something” app. It's provided by the parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting 7 years ago. Tips go to a crisis center. The sender remains anonymous.
“You kind of feel safer because you can say whatever you need to say without the backlash of it,” said Halle Varney, Potsdam 9th grader.
“This way, since it's anonymous, you don't have to worry about anything like that,” said Maggie Akin, Potsdam 9th grader.
Students are learning about it at sessions. A video even deals with the issue of some people calling it the “snitch app.”
“I don't think of it as a tattling thing because if you do have someone that's thinking about it, or hurting other people or themselves, it's a really helpful app,” said
Destinee Haught, Potsdam 9th grader.
Students continue to be told they can always go to a trusted adult if they think someone might be planning a violent attack. Or suicide. Or other bad acts.
“If you can't feel you can tell a trusted adult this gives them the ability to use the app and have another way of getting this information to people who can do something about it,” said Michael Neaton, Potsdam school resource officer.
Tips on anything that might be life threatening are immediately forwarded to police. Most others go to school officials.
The app is just one part of a bigger school safety strategy.
The school resource officer is part. So is the school’s Positivity Project and new approaches to discipline this year.