BIXBY, Okla. — Bixby middle school and high school students are learning to “Say Something.”
“We find that the best thing anyone can do if they have a concern is speak up," said Lydia Wilson, associate superintendent for Bixby Public Schools.
They are getting training from Sandy Hook Promise, a foundation created following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. They're being taught how to look for signs in classmates who could be at risk of hurting themselves or others. The school district says it wants students to know where to go for help.
“We think it’s incredibly important for our kids to know that what they’re worried about, what they’re handling, what they’re dealing with, is something they can share with an adult so that we can help address it and keep them, their friends and our schools safe," Wilson said.
The school district started using the Say Something anonymous tip line last year. They say they had 103 valid tips in the first nine months. Students say being able to report anonymously empowers them to speak up.
“A lot of times it can be pretty nerve-wracking to personally go talk to an administrator," said Dylan Hasz, a freshman at Bixby. "And it kind of takes away the pressure. It makes it a lot easier.”
“Some people don’t have that place at home, at school, where they can speak up and talk," said Sydney Bales, a freshman at Bixby. "Where they can get their feelings out and take action on what they need.”
District administrators said they are creating a culture that embraces open communication. They hope others will follow along.
“Anything that gets our kids safe and helps our families talk with one another, the students and their parents, is a productive thing," Wilson said.
There are three ways students can report anonymously with Say Something. They can do so through the mobile app, on the Say Something website or by calling 1-844-5-SAYNOW.
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