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Douglas County schools to use same anonymous reporting system

Posted at 6:49 PM, Oct 29, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It's a change that most students won't notice, but it could help prevent a catastrophe.

"We're not having information siloed in one area, that we're all at the same table talking towards solutions and coming up with ways to help,” says Denise Rieder, team coordinator for Douglas County Threat Advisory.

Omaha Public Schools, along with Millard, Westside and other Douglas County schools will soon all be using the Safe2Help program.

It will be run by Boystown, who's hotline is already used by some schools to anonymously report suspicious behavior.

This new program will put all the schools into one system and allow that information to be widely shared.

"We want the school to have a voice, we want law enforcement, we need mental health to be a part of this picture and as much as students having a voice too, to have concerns about their safety,” says Rieder.

Once the Safe2Help hotline is up and running by early next year, anybody will be able to call a number, or use an app or a website, to report anything they think is a threat.

"There's trained professional staff that are receiving those tips and directing those to the appropriate resources,” says Rieder.

While schools around the country are looking for solutions to this problem, those running the program say schools in this program are ahead of the curve.

"We are as far along, if not farther along than a lot of the other schools,” says Rieder.