The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Sequoia District implements anonymous reporting system

Sequoia Union High School District teams with Sandy Hook Promise to help prevent school violence
Saylor Reinders
On Feb. 13, 2023 three students were killed in the Michigan State University shooting. Students set up a memorial in front of the school rock a few days later. This is an event that the Say Something reporting system is hoping to prevent.

Sequoia Union High School District implemented an anonymous reporting system this school year to prevent acts of violence and ensure the safety of all students.

Say Something is a 24/7 anonymous reporting system that encourages students to report any possible threats they hear or see, including school threats or personal crises regarding sexual harassment, self-harm, abuse, bullying, and depression.

Sandy Hook Promise, which started this system, was created by family members of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims. According to the Sandy Hook Promise website, Say Something is free and has been implemented in over 120 school districts nationwide.

“Sandy Hook Promise envisions a future where children are free from shootings and acts of violence in their schools, homes, and communities,” said Sandy Hook Promise on its website.

The system allows students to send an anonymous tip through a hotline, app, or website, which will be reviewed by a team of crisis counselors at Sandy Hook Promise to determine its severity. If necessary, the crisis counselor will contact someone at the school, where the threat will be transferred to the responsibility of the district and local law enforcement.

“We’ve dabbled with different independent referral processes, but nothing like this. This is a higher caliber,” said Gregg Patner, a Carlmont administrative vice principal.

According to Arthur Wilkie,  the Public Information Officer at Sequoia Union High School District, each school site within the district has a trained Say Something response staff who will deal with concerns brought up by an anonymous report.

“The goal of Say Something is to add another layer to the District’s approach to student and school safety by providing an easy-to-access system for students to anonymously report anything from personal crises to school threats,” Wilkie said in an email.

To aid in the system’s implementation, each school in the district will train students through a video and discussion. According to Wilkie, the system will have a visible presence in the district and will even be highlighted in newsletters and social media.

Despite the system’s advantages, some concerns include more work placed on administration. However, most staff members believe the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

“I don’t know yet what it’s going to mean as far as more work placed upon the administration and more work placed upon people in hours outside of school, but I think that that work is good work,” Patner said. “But if we have 100, 200, 300 kids being reported to us, and we have to follow up with on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday, then now our jobs become 24/7. That would be a negative side effect.”

According to Wilkie, the district is confident that training will allow students and staff to know how to effectively use the system in order for it to fulfill its goals. District staff are also committed to taking every report seriously.

“I think this is an excellent way to prevent school shootings,” said Sam Dechaine, a Carlmont senior and president of Carlmont’s Junior State of America. “I think giving people an anonymous way to report incidents will lead to a safer Carlmont community.”

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About the Contributor
Sienna Reinders, Highlander Editor
Sienna Reinders, a senior at Carlmont, is a staff writer for Scot Scoop and an editor for The Highlander. She is a passionate journalist who has also taken her skills to UC Berkeley's Daily Cal newspaper, with internships in the summers of 2022 and 2023. When she is not writing, you can find her running with friends to train for her next cross country or track race. To view her portfolio, click here.

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