KDKA's Royce Jones has more.
- Students continue to return to classrooms.
- And some schools are reminding families about a free safety tool that's available right at their fingertips. Royce Jones shares more about how a state run youth violence protection program is being used in one local district.
ROYCE JONES: Students here in the Beaver area school district have been reporting to the building since January. But very few have been using this Safe to Say Something PA app. The youth violence prevention program is run through the state attorney general's office, and teaches students and their adult counterparts about the warning signs of violence. It allows students to submit anonymous tips, speak with a crisis center, and have these matters taken to the proper person.
According to district superintendent, Dr. Carrie Rowe, the number of tips received on the app have decreased significantly during the pandemic. Last year, there were more than 60. So far this year, only 15. But school leaders are not convinced the decrease in reporting is anything to celebrate.
CARRIE ROWE: We've cautioned our administrators and our teachers that just because our numbers are down, it doesn't mean that those things aren't still happening. It doesn't mean that there aren't those crisis situations, simply that they're not being reported.
ROYCE JONES: Doctor Rowe tells me teachers and staff are now using their virtual learning day on Wednesdays to connect with students and help address any possible instances of violence. And students here tell me the Safe to Say Something app has also helped address bullying in the school, in situations where victims otherwise wouldn't have felt comfortable saying something for fears of being called a snitch. Here from them, Newitt Six. I'm Royce Jones, KDKA News.