WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY(WBRE/WYOU-TV) – In just a few days, a new initiative gets underway in the Commonwealth to keep kids safe across the state.
It’s a program that has already been proven to save lives in other states.
The new Program “Safe 2 Say” is less than one week away from launching in Pennsylvania.
The Williamsport area School District is one of many that will be participating in the initiative.
“Safe2Say” is a threat reporting system created by people whose children were killed by an active shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut in 2012.
“I think back and wonder what my parents think about it because they’re 87 and it was never like this before but it’s here and it’s probably here to stay and we need to deal with it,” said Michael Roan.
“I and I’m sure every other single American would say the same thing..no one wants that,” said James Haywood.
A bill passed last year sets up state administered programs to distribute school safety grants, as well as making it easier for people to report threats of violence or dangerous activities in schools.
It will use hotlines, mobile apps and websites to make anonymous tips.
“Well I think that’s a good thing. Kids are always hesitant to come out and do things because they’re young and inexperienced,” said Roan.
“I believe that it’s an important program that will allow some of the kids to report things,” said William Lang.
William Lang has three children, one of them still in elementary school.
He tells Eyewitness News he hopes “Safe2Say” can help make a difference.
“I always have fears for my children when they’re not near me, when they’re out in the world I do worry about my children,” said Lang.
Others also share their fears
“The only concern I would have is I wonder if every kid would take it seriously and I would hope they wouldn’t report fake ones,” said Haywood.
Parents say adding the threat reporting system is only one piece of the pie, when it comes to children’s safety.
PARENTS SAY ADDING THE THREAT REPORTING SYSTEM IS ONLY ONE PIECE OF THE PIE, WHEN IT COMES TO CHILDREN’S SAFETY.
“I’m a believer that you should let the teachers arm themselves and of course they would be trained and properly vetted in those areas to do that,” said Roan.
“Or some sort of security officers within the actual building to prevent some of these mass murders,” said Lang.
“Safe2Say” will launch statewide Monday, and after that staff and students grades 7-12 in the district will begin training on how to use the program.
Tips to the hotline will go to specially trained agents who will analyze them and then report to police.