NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The Safe Schools Louisiana Anonymous Reporting App, a statewide program that safeguards more than 500 schools across the state through a free anonymous reporting platform, examined the overall tip content and categorization of anonymous tips for the summer and first month of the 2022 school year (Dates: June 1 – August 31). Due to the stressors placed on Louisiana children in recent years by pandemics, crime trends, the Uvalde school shooting, and further environmental factors, the administrative team supporting the app shares its findings for the benefit of students, parents, and faculty to provide the safest environment for learning.
The administrative team behind the app at Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans acknowledges that a three-month sample size may not be representative of all schools statewide and should be observed cautiously as all schools serviced have not been in session for a full month in 2022. The Safe Schools LA app and program are a complimentary resource for school communities that provide students the ability to anonymously communicate about a pressing school, criminal, or mental health concern.
As of August 31, 2022, tip categorization by reporting students involved the following “event type” upon submission:
32% – “Bullying,” “Cyber Bullying,” or “Harassment”
18% – “Vaping”
7% – “Guns,” “Knife,” or “Shooting”
7% – “Suicide,” “Suicide Threats”
Remainder – “Fighting,” “Ditching,” “Drugs,” or “Anger Issues”
Finding that bullying is often a factor correlated with suicidal thoughts in students and that the advent of social media has now made cyber bullying an often inescapable part of the school experience, the findings from the summer and first month of school should be considered prior to National Suicide Prevention Week which begins September 4, 2022, and National Bullying Prevention Month which begins October 1, 2022. The team at Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans encourages honest conversations with parents and administrators of students about these topics.
During the 2021-2022 academic school year, students frequently reported bullying or cyberbullying of which the administrators had not been aware. 16 tips involving guns were received in that time as well as 10 tips regarding discussion of “planned school attacks.” Nonviolent tips such as suicidal thoughts or threats were also reported and immediately addressed by predetermined response teams in each school district.
Developed by Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education and Louisiana State Police, the app has grown from a regional program to a statewide program in the last two years. Schools and districts may still sign up for deployment in the 2022-2023 academic year through the SafeSchoolsLA.com website. Training and school promotional materials for use of the app are also available for free once onboarding of the school or school system is complete which can be initiated in less than 48 hours.
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School Violence STATISTICS:
- 100,000 students carry a gun to school each day
- 28% of youths who carry weapons have witnessed violence at home
- Among students, homicide perpetrators were more than twice as likely as homicide victims to have been bullied
- More youth violence occurs on school grounds as opposed to on the way to school.
- 1/3 of students surveyed said they heard another student threaten to kill someone.
- Teachers are also assaulted, robbed & bullied. 84 crimes per 1,000 teachers per year.
Reference: Bureau of Justice Statistics – School Crime & Safety (via NVEEE)