RICHLAND, WA – After yesterday’s terrible shooting in south Florida, we wanted to check in with our local schools to see if there’s anything new on keeping our kids safe at school.
We spoke with the Richland School District and found out about a new alert system called SafeSchools Alert. The online system was actually presented to the board of directors just a day before the Florida school shooting.
Since students often know what is happening in the school before administration, SafeSchools Alert allows them to alert staff anonymously either through text, the website, email, and phone.
Other schools in Washington already use this alert system. The website even says administrators in Washington received a tip through SafeSchools Alert that a student was bringing a shotgun to school.
Today we spoke with Steve Aagard with the Richland School District, who says a system like this was needed and that students even requested that something be done.
“We’ve heard from student leaders at our high schools that students need a way to contact our principals anonymously,” Aagard said. “So we do have students who come forward in person but some may not feel comfortable. So this is another way for students to contact their principal.”
Aagard says the SafeSchools system should be up and running by March. He also pointed out that this isn’t only meant for things like threats against the school. It can be used for cyber bullying, drugs, domestic abuse, or family and home issues.
Washington State House Bill 2801 actually requires students to have an anonymous outlet to report incidents, so by introducing SafeSchools Alert, the Richland School District is fulfilling this requirement.