Stanly County Schools introduces new tool for safety reporting

Published 4:51 pm Friday, October 26, 2018

Stanly County Schools is launching the Anonymous Alerts program across all schools in the district.

“In an effort to be more responsive in our ever-changing society, SCS wants to be proactive in dealing with safety and bullying concerns,” Superintendent Jeff James said. “With social media it has been hard to stay in front of issues. We hope this reporting tool will give us immediate feedback, so we can begin investigations and resolutions quicker. The patented, anti-bullying and safety reporting mobile app and system will serve as a new tool for safety communications.”

Jeff James

Students and parents can have an anonymous, two-way conversation with school officials about issues and concerns such as bullying, drug/alcohol usage, weapons, potential campus threats and more

School officials, in turn, can investigate reports and take appropriate action based on the information received.

“We are excited to be implementing the Anonymous Alerts anti-bullying and safety reporting system in the district,” James said. “At Stanly County Schools, collaborative efforts between our schools, families and communities are critical in fostering student success.

“We believe that providing direct channels of communication will help us, even more, to achieve this goal as it will allow members of the community to share information and concerns with our dedicated school officials,” he added. “The information received can be followed up with quickly and will be effective in helping to maintain a safe school climate.”

Local law enforcement leaders support this additional layer of communication.

“The Albemarle Police Department is excited about teaming up with Stanly County Schools as they launch a new communication tool, Anonymous Alerts, in an effort to ensure the safety of students and staff members at our schools,” Albemarle Police Chief Danny Bowen said. “School safety is one of the top priorities for our agency. This tool will allow students, parents and others to report information that may have an impact on the safety of those on the campuses, anonymously. It will allow the School Resource Officers to receive information and hopefully prevent incidents and allow intervention before anything happens.”

Locust Police Chief Frank Hartsell is hopeful this technology will provide safer learning environments for our children and schools.

The Anonymous Alerts app can be downloaded for free on Apple and Android, and students, parents and staff members will use a simple activation code provided by the district to gain access to the service. Also, an Anonymous Alerts web form will be accessible from the Stanly County Schools’ website, where students, parents and others can send a web-based report.

The web form is available in English, Spanish, and a dozen other languages. Report submitters can provide additional information to school officials by attaching a photo, video or screenshot with their report.

In addition, students will be able to view a “helpful links and resources” section in the mobile app that contains links to informational websites and videos related to cyberbullying, social and emotional learning, self-harm prevention and mental health self-help content.

The system will be monitored during school days between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Links to the Anonymous Alerts web form will be added to school websites by Thursday.

Director of Student Services Beverly Pennington has coordinated the deployment of Anonymous Alerts.

Administrators, counselors and SROs have been trained on how to use this tool as another resource in addressing school safety issues.

Pennington cautions students and the public to use this tool for serious threats to school safety. False reports will not be tolerated and will be punished according to the Code of Student Conduct and applicable state laws.

“While we want to give our students and community more ways to communicate behaviors concerns to administrators, we do not want to tie up their time by chasing down false reports,” Pennington said. “When used appropriately, Anonymous Alerts has the potential to greatly assist administrators in maintaining safer schools.”

“We are proud to announce our partnership with Stanly County Schools to expand its communications tools with our anonymous reporting system and help it’s school leaders detect, defer, and deny potential issues and concerns,” said T. Gregory Bender, president and CEO of Anonymous Alerts, LLC.

About Anonymous Alerts

The Anonymous Alerts mobile applications platform were developed to encourage students to quickly report bullying, mental health concerns, drug use/dealing, campus safety threats and more directly to school and college officials, who can take quick action. The mobile apps and systems are completely customizable for each client and include intuitive Incident Management tools built for any level user.