New School Safety Tip Line and Mobile App For Reporting Threats
Governor Larry Hogan today announced the launch of “Safe Schools Maryland,” a tip line and mobile app designed to streamline reporting of possible threats to students school facilities. Hogan made the announcement at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, who will be responsible for monitoring the tip line and forwarding credible information to local law enforcement agencies and local school boards.
According to a press release:
“Incidents of targeted violence at our schools are rarely sudden impulsive acts; instead, in the majority of these incidents, another person was aware of what the student was thinking or planning to do,” said Governor Hogan.
Students, family members, parents, teachers, administrators, and other community members can anonymously report information to Safe Schools Maryland via a mobile app available for download through the Apple App Store or Google Play, online at http://www.SafeSchoolsMD.org, or by calling 1-833-MD-B-SAFE (1-833-632-7233). Trained technicians will respond to reports 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The tip line staff will share incoming information with appropriate school system officials and staff; law enforcement personnel; fire, emergency, behavioral health, and medical staff; and other partners to help prevent violent or dangerous incidents at schools around the state and provide assistance to students in crisis. Students, parents, teachers, administrative staff, and others should be vigilant and report any activity that makes them feel uncomfortable, nervous, or frightened about the safety of their school, themselves, or others.
In many recent school violence incidents or threats, assailants have exhibited behavior that signaled a potential for violent activity or discussed such activity on social media. Some potential incidents around the country have been thwarted because alert students, parents, school staff, or others reported suspicious behaviors to appropriate authorities.
“We are honored that Governor Hogan has asked MEMA to coordinate the new safety initiative,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “This is aligned with MEMA’s mission to coordinate resources from multiple agencies and to be the authoritative source of 24-hour information gathering and dissemination. We are excited to take the lead to help our state, local, and non-government partners make Maryland schools safer as the field of emergency management broadens.”
Read the full press release for more information.