An anonymous reporting system, SafeVoice, has been established by the Nevada Department of Education and is now accessible to parents, students and faculty to report suicide threats, bullying, or any other remarks that pose a threat to the safety of students since Jan. 2.
“It’s similar to dialing 911,” Principal Donna Levy said. “Sometimes you don’t feel comfortable talking to somebody on the other line, this is kind of a little more anonymous so you can go in and write it all up. It then immediately notifies the administrator of the school. If you were to put in a report saying your friend at [another school] was suicidal, their administrator would be notified right away.”
The website offers immediate live feedback 24/7, giving the student easy access to law enforcement. SafeVoice is monitored by The Nevada Department of Public Safety.
“In the past, a student would reach out to a teacher, the teacher would reach out to me and I would have to try to call 911 if I can’t couldn’t get a hold of parents,” Levy said. “The useful thing about this is they figure out who to call right away so it’s going through law enforcement instead of going through all of us.”
By implementing this program, Levy hopes this program will provide students with immediate help. After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Levy decided to begin publicly advertising the program.
“I think that SafeVoice is a much better alternative than having to fill out a paper report or just emailing a teacher and hoping for a response,” junior Cynthia Cervantes said. “This will really help students who are too nervous to tell an adult or don’t feel like anyone will listen or give any attention to the issue. Knowing SafeVoice is an option gives me piece of mind knowing I can give a friend in need help without possibly having them get mad at me in particular for saying something.”
False reports, or non-emergencies, like complaints about homework, may result in repercussions administered by school officials. If the site is down, emergencies should be reported to 911, otherwise, students should contact the administration or counselors.
“I think it’s going to be a really good thing for students because it gives them an opportunity to reach out to somebody if they need help or if they’re trying to report something that is going on, but they don’t necessarily have to feel freaked out because of possible repercussions,” Chemistry teacher Christina Bousema said “I think this will be an opportunity to give students a safe place to voice their opinion on anything that’s going on.”[poller_master poll_id=”571″ extra_class=””]