Henderson County Public Schools Launches Reporting Tool

A group of children bullying another child at school.
Credit National Institutes of Health

New in the 2018-19 school year, students will be able to report concerning behaviors or safety threats to administrators using the “Report It, Don’t Ignore It” app and online tool.

Available for Apple and Android, and accessible on the district and school websites now, the tool gathers information from users and sends alerts directly to school administrators, who can immediately alert law enforcement if necessary. Users indicate the school they’re reporting about and are prompted to provide a brief description of the incident/threat under the following categories: Bullying, Drugs, Fighting, Personal Crisis, Vandalism, Weapons, and Other.

Users can choose to provide additional witness information, names of people involved, and whether to provide their own name. Or, if desired, users can remain anonymous. The app and online tool allows users to upload up to three pictures or screenshots of physical or social media threats in the “Optional Supporting Evidence” field.

“Report It, Don’t Ignore It” also provides additional help resources, including school contact information, phone numbers for the Suicide Prevention Hotline, the Henderson County Department of Social Services, and non-emergency numbers for the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and Hendersonville Police Department.

“Report It, Don’t Ignore It” was developed by the district’s Technology Department to approach school safety proactively and to improve two-way communication between the HCPS student body and administrators. The tool was also a result of Superintendent Bo Caldwell’s ongoing meetings with parents, students, law enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders to evaluate and determine best practices for school safety protocols and procedures.

“We know that school safety is a community effort,” Caldwell said. “Administrators and law enforcement can only respond to concerns in schools – and parents can only respond to them at home – when we’re made aware of them. Our students and staff are our best eyes and ears.”

“We hope this tool will empower students to take ownership of their campus’ safety, keep each other accountable, and know their administration is here for them,” Caldwell said. “We’re here, and we’re listening.”

The “Report It, Don’t Ignore It” online tool appears on the HCPS and school homepages with an eyeball icon, and is available in multiple languages. The app is available for download from the App Store and Google Play Store.