RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- One way schools across the state are trying to help students and protect students is through the 'Say Something Anonymous Reporting System', something ABC11's I-Team has done extensive reporting on.
The system is used in 98 of the 115 school districts in North Carolina, as well as 144 charter schools. It allows students and educators to submit tips anonymously through an app, website or 24/7 crisis hotline.
The tips all flow to a team of highly trained counselors at the 'Say Something' national office in Miami, where they respond to tips in real-time.
The program that was first introduced in 2019 is the flagship program of 'Sandy Hook Promise,' an organization founded by grieving parents from the 2012 massacre in Newton, Connecticut.
New data obtained by the ABC11 I-Team from the North Carolina Center for Safer Schools shows the number of tips have skyrocketed in the current school year.
Since August 1, 2021, more than 6,900 tips have come in just in North Carolina alone. That's nearly 500% increase over 2020 when 1,450 tips came in. Tips can include threats of violence, vandalism, sexual assault, suicide, mental issues and bullying.
The number of tips received in 2021 is also nearly doubled the number of tips that came in during the 2019-2020 school year. That school year 688 tips were about planned school attacks and more than 300 were either about weapons on campus or someone threatening to harm someone else.
Specifics about the number of guns that made it into schools across the state in the 2021-2022 school year have not yet been released.