As part of efforts to ramp up emergency preparedness, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews today announced the launch of the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS) at 40 SFUSD schools with students in grades 6 to 12. Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, 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 as well as continued technical and instructional support to schools both during and beyond the Fall 2022 launch.
The Say Something Anonymous Reporting System is designed specifically for use by students in grades 6-12 and includes a mobile app, website, and telephone hotline for users to submit tips 24/7/365 to the National Crisis Center for analysis and response. 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 including sexual harassment, self-harm, abuse, bullying, and depression.
When credible tips are received, the Crisis Center notifies the school-based representatives of those that are life-threatening and require immediate intervention. In cases of imminent threat, the Crisis Center contacts the local 9-1-1 dispatch. This enables school administrators and public safety officials work together to effectively prevent shootings, suicide, bullying, self-harm and other forms of violence and victimization. Any coordination with law enforcement will be consistent with SFUSD’s administrative regulations and protocols that determine when and how schools may interact with law enforcement. Per SF Board of Education policy, 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.
“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. We will begin utilizing this new resource in the fall as one more way we can keep San Francisco public schools as safe as possible,” Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said.
Planning for the launch of SS-ARS into SFUSD schools began in Spring 2021. Since January 2022, the 40 participating schools have been creating site teams whose members are trained on how to use the P3 tip system to respond to any submitted tips that come in. Recently, participating schools have also begun to train students on how to use the app. In Fall 2022 all students who were not trained in the Spring, including new students, will receive training.