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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – If you see something, say something – that’s the premise behind a new smart phone app in Pennsylvania, aimed at saving young lives.
One-point-seven-million students attend public schools in Pennsylvania.
With mass shootings on the rise nationwide, the state has partnered with Sandy Hook Promise. It’s a no-profit run by parents of students killed in the Newtown Elementary School massacre.
The goal is to stop attacks on schools by reporting potential threats in advance.
The new system is called “Safe 2 Say Something.” It encourages students and parents to report anonymous tips, through an app, website or phone call.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office has taken the lead.
“Sandy Hook has worked with some jurisdictions across the country. They have never worked with the state before. We’re the first state that they are working with and better for it,” said Shapiro.
Both private and public schools are required by law to use the Safe 2 Say Something program.
The statewide program, which launched in mid-January, has already trained 700,000 students in all 500 school districts and some private schools.
It teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially on social media.
“This is our Safe 2 Say Something Crisis Center,” said program director Brittney Kline, a former police officer.
It’s a 24-hour center that Kline leads as the program director.
Her team of 10 analysts work out of a small room, in the attorney general’s office.
“Down here is all the tips that have come in, we’re at 7,241 now,” said Kline.
Fourteen-hundred of those have been what’s considered life-safety tips, ranging anywhere from potential school threats to suicides.
The attorney general’s office says 85 percent of students in both public and private schools have been trained so far on this program.
They’re hoping to train the remaining 15 percent in the near future.