FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cumberland County Schools says an anonymous, digital tip line has helped the district better protect students and care for their mental health.
The system was created by parents whose children were killed in the Sandy Hook massacre and has gone nationwide. Supporters are urging more CCS parents and students to take advantage of the resource that they say is saving lives.
Cumberland County Schools' Safety and Security Director George Hall said the district has only been using the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System since 2020, but it's been having a major effect.
"We have had a number of cases where children or kids were suicidal or express a self-harm and some of their peers used See Something Say Something to actually bring that to our attention, and so counselors were able to get involved and actually have some hospitalizations to intervene in that," Hall said.
Using the app, hotline or website, users can submit tips if they're afraid a student could harm themselves or others. The county said it has helped them address issues such as mental health problems, and bullying, and help prevent weapons from being brought to campus.
"It's helped the students feel they have a place to go..." Hall said. "Sometimes, they don't feel like they can go to an adult with it so that they feel like if they can do it anonymously, then they're able to do that.."
Parents who spoke to ABC11 gave the system a thumbs up.
"I love that we're always trying to be proactive rather than reactive and putting things in place so that if we see something or if there's something being said, we have those resources available," said Christopher Figgs, a Cumberland County Schools parent.
Figgs, and Zenaida Cranford, also a CCS parent, told ABC11 that they haven't made reports through Say Something, but that they have heard positive reviews of the system from several other parents who have. Cranford said those parents appreciate being able to express their concerns about students in private.
"Discretion is the key. During these times, I feel people want to feel secure in knowing that their voice is heard, but not just being heard, but taken serious in an effective way," Cranford said.
"Don't be afraid to use it," Hall said, encouraging more parents to take advantage of the app. "Let us know."