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New reporting tool helps keep schools safe

The Kansas State Department of Education’s Safe and Secure Schools Unit has partnered with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation on a new reporting tool.

“We’ve found that our kiddos especially don’t like to pick up the phone and actually talk to somebody,” said John Calvert with KSDE. “This is a tool that they can use. It’s web based. They can get on it from a computer. They can get on it from their cell phones. Actually, it’s just like texting.”

This is a way to get information to the experts even on a school-issued device.

“They don’t have to actually talk to somebody,” said Calvert. “They can just text in what they saw, what they heard. It goes straight to the KBI, where it’s vetted by criminal analysts at the KBI and then pushed to the local entities, whether that be the local law enforcement or local school district.”

The Safe and Secure Schools Unit is making an effort to educate parents and students about being savvy on social media as well.

“We’re trying to take a more proactive approach,” said Calvert. “I’ve been into 35 school districts since October 1 and meeting with our staff members, our kiddos, our administrators and trying to meet with the community to see what we really can do and what our needs are. Social media’s a huge deal. So often, our kids are sending things or posting things that they don’t necessarily understand the ramifications of.”

For more information on the Safe and Secure Schools Unit, go to www.ksde.org/Kansas-Safe-Schools.

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