'The violence hasn't gone away:' Urgent tips surge in NC schools and in classrooms across the country

CARTHAGE, NC (WTVD) -- Her job might require her to carry a gun, but Rebecca Mabe says her most important weapon is her ability to listen.

"Some kids just need to know you care," Mabe, the Student Resource Officer (SRO) at Union Pines High School, said. "They want to talk, tell you what's going on in their lives, what's happening. Just someone there to listen."

A mother of five herself, Mabe is also a former deputy at the Lee County and Moore County sheriff's offices. Those positions also prioritize protecting the sanctity of life, but this school year in particular Mabe is recognizing the need to protect students from themselves.

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"Some kids just need to know you care," Mabe, the Student Resource Officer (SRO) at Union Pines High School, said. "They want to talk, tell you what's going on in their lives, what's happening. Just someone there to listen."



"They're lonely. They're sad," Mabe said of her students. "They want things to get back to normal. They want their friends and school family and learn and grow and be safe and feel safe."

Fortunately for Mabe and her other colleagues in the Moore County Schools Police Department, there is another tool to help amplify those faint voices of despair: the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System.

First introduced in North Carolina in 2019, Say Something is the flagship program of Sandy Hook Promise, the organization founded by the grieving parents from the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Across the state, more than 433,000 students in grades 6-12 have been trained to use the system, along with nearly 4,300 educators - and counting.

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"The numbers tell us that even though kids aren't in school, the violence is still there. The harm is still there," Nicole Hockey, the co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise said.



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