Say Something Program
Say Something Program - Sandy Hook Promise is a national non-profit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.
The UCF School District Administration and Board along with the Wellness Council have approved the implementation of the Say Something Program starting in the 18-19 school year.
This program provides additional support for our students and community to intervene when there are concerns about student well-being. The program helps to teach students to look for warning signs, signals, and threats, to take them seriously, and to report these concerns to a trusted adult.
- How does the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS) support and connect to our curriculum / current programs?
- How will it be implemented?
- When will it start?
- What levels will it be implemented in?
- Who can use it?
- Why are we recommending this resource over other resources?
- What concerns have been raised?
- If I make a report, how can it be assured that reporting is anonymous?
- How do parents find out that their child is in crisis or at risk to self or others? Does the call center reach out to them? How do they find out parent/student information?
- Once the program is implemented how can a parent make a report to the Crisis Center?
SS-ARS is designed to help prevent at-risk individuals from hurting themselves or others by intervening when individuals displaying pathway behaviors that, at the extreme, could end in a life being lost. As a result of this approach, SS-ARS will help in reporting of the following primary behaviors/threats (not an all-inclusive list):
- Bullying / Cyberbullying- Suicide / Suicide Ideation
- Cutting and other self-harm- Depression / Anxiety
- Substance / Alcohol Abuse- Planned school attack
- Anger / Self-control concerns- Eating disorders
- Fighting/verbal and physical abuse- Dating violence
- Child abuse- Sexual harassment
- Possession of weapon- Hate crime / speech
School counselors at Patton Middle School and Unionville High School, as well as administration, feel that SS-ARS fits very well with current programs and curriculum and will build upon the foundation we have already built across the district.
Students, staff, and parents will be trained on the program. Student training will consist of assemblies, small group presentations, and online training modules. Training can be followed up with Olweus lessons at the middle school and presentations at the high school. The program provides seed money for the start-up of student clubs to support this initiative and to help sustain its goals. Multi-disciplinary teams in schools will be trained in-person by Say Something trainers. Training will also be provided to parents by Say Something trainers or through online modules. Our parent FOCUS group has offered to support the effort of training parents.
The UCFSD Wellness Council reviewed several resources that provide similar services. This resource provides a level of service, support, and training that others did not. It also has a curriculum connected with it to support the program goals. The Wellness Council was impressed with the educational component which was not present with the other vendors. Also, this program comes with no charge as it is grant-funded.
Staff and our community are supportive of utilizing all existing tools possible to keep students safe. There have been concerns raised about this program. Specifically, will our district be prepared regarding the appropriate protocols for anonymous tips? Also, will we have the staff necessary to handle the tips that may come in? There were concerns raised as well about false tips and possible targeting of individuals unfairly.
Administration is committed to the safety and well-being of our students. If we find that the level of work for our school counselors and school social workers becomes unsustainable based on the addition of this new resource, we will look to restructure or add to our support resources.
Working with our support teams and our building administrators, we will develop effective protocols for responding to anonymous tips. The Say Something program will support us in this, and there are best practices in this area that we will emulate.
False tips, though expected to be less than 1% of the tips received, will be monitored. Current users of this type of service have not found false tips to be a significant problem with the implementation of the program.
The Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS) is extremely comprehensive in protecting the identity of tipsters - people who make reports to the crisis center. The system utilizes multiple external anonymous gateways to block IP addresses/phone numbers, and all phone calls received in the Crisis Center are blocked using a sophisticated multiple-level blocking system.
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) will NOT allow the anonymity of any tipster to be revealed without a court-ordered search warrant OR when there is a first-person reporting where or when the loss of life is imminent, anonymity will be uncovered as quickly as possible. Be aware that they cannot guarantee that anonymity can be uncovered, especially 72 hours or more after a tip has been received, given the use of external gateways, challenges in tracking IP addresses, and possible use of public devices by a tipster.
There are two methods in which a parent may be informed that their child is in crisis and/or at risk to self or others – one or all approaches could be used for a given situation:
- School officials: All life-safety tips are provided to the school district to act upon. Therefore, a school official who receives and acts upon a tip could contact parents/guardians per school policy and protocols.
- Local Police: All life-safety tips are provided to local police to act upon. Therefore, in the event that police are either directly reaching out to a student (especially in an emergency) or working with the school district, contact could be made with a parent or guardian. The most likely scenario is through visiting an at-risk child in their home or post an emergency intervention. As a reminder, the school district is always informed of life-safety tips in order to work with local police.
The Crisis Center, as part of the triage process of a tip or when corresponding with a first-person at-risk individual, will contact the school district Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS) administrator(s) to request parent/student information in an emergency situation only (defined as imminent possibility of loss of life) in order to pass this information to local police. The school district SS-ARS administrator, at the moment of the request, can make the decision to provide the contact information or work with police directly and not involve the Crisis Center.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions or concerns?
If community members have additional questions or concerns, please email or call:
Leah Reider - Director of Pupil Services firstname.lastname@example.org
Justin Webb - Technology Director email@example.com
John Nolen - Assistant Superintendent firstname.lastname@example.org