‘Bullying’ highest reported category through Safe Schools Louisiana for Fall 2022

Published 12:06 am Saturday, December 17, 2022

For its third and final statistical release of the 2022 school year, the Safe Schools Louisiana Anonymous Reporting Program is providing an overview of anonymous tip data to encourage important conversations about student health over the holiday break and provide an opportunity for school administrators to intervene, learn and course-correct prior to the spring school semester. The Safe Schools LA app and program are a complimentary resource for school communities that provide students the ability to anonymously communicate about a pressing school, criminal or mental health concern.

Additionally, the Safe Schools team found it appropriate to celebrate the school administrations who took the most active role in promoting the anonymous reporting availability and their involvement with incident interventions. This semester’s Most Engaged Safe School” is Slaughter Community Charter School in East Feliciana Parish. Their efforts to remove bullying from their campus are truly commendable and their administration’s involvement in the lives of their students was palpable upon a visit by the Safe Schools LA team. (Their outreach efforts can be viewed here.)

This semester’s “Excellence in Student Mental Health” recognition was given to Vermilion Parish Schools who responded within minutes after notification through a tip that a student was discussing self-harm. Within minutes of the start of school, the multi-disciplinary intervention team located the student and provided a level of care that may have saved the life of that student. Both schools being recognized are new additions to the Safe Schools LA program this year.

Several commonalities were observed statewide, some of which parents and administrators may find surprising. It should be noted that some of the participating junior and high school students in the program actively use the app to report incidents more than others. Student participation may be encouraged by school administrations who actively promote the use of the app in the weeks following the Safe Schools LA team’s introductory presentations, training, and delivery of collateral materials. Therefore, the anonymous tips reported reflect statewide trends and may not be representative of any particular school due to environmental factors present in that community.

 

As of December 8, 2022, tip categorization by reporting students involved the following “event type” upon submission:

 

32% – “Bullying,” “Cyber Bullying,” or “Harassment”

*This stat was consistent throughout the semester and included a significant increase in LGBTQ+ related reports.

*A frequent tactic reported was the creation of a fake Instagram account to harass the victim.

*The largest demographic of reports included students in the sixth through ninth grades.

10% – “Vaping”

*Tips primarily included reports of vaping in the bathroom, band room, and bus.

6% – “Drugs”

*Types of drug reports varied from marijuana to cocaine.

5% – “Guns,” “Knife,” or “Shooting”

*Tips were often verified with accompanying social media posts prior to intervention.

*6 viable “shooting” tips and 1 possible planned school attack were received.

7% – “Suicide,” “Suicide Threats”

*Imminent reports included 3 interventions, 6 self-reported, and 1 observed via TikTok.

2% – “Sexual Assault,” “Sexual Misconduct”

*Interventions were required with older students interacting inappropriately with younger students.

 

“We want to salute the multi-disciplinary teams at all our partner schools. A principal, a counselor, a teacher, or an SRO has consistently intervened when notified without hesitation in every district we cover,” said Darlene Cusanza who leads the Safe Schools LA team. “We especially want to recognize Slaughter Community Charter School for being a model in anti-bullying practices and Vermilion Parish Schools for truly creating a safe space for its students to learn and grow.”

Developed by Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education and Louisiana State Police, the app has grown from a regional program to a statewide program in the last two years. Schools and districts may still sign up for deployment in the 2022-2023 academic year through the SafeSchoolsLA.com website. Training and school promotional materials for use of the app are also available for free once onboarding of the school or school system is complete which can be initiated in less than 48 hours.

 

Crimestoppers “Safe Schools Louisiana” is an anonymous tip reporting solution designed for students, parents, and teachers to submit secure and anonymous concerns about campus or campus events. Download the app for Apple Devices:

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/crime-stoppers-gno-safe-school/id1268369585 Download the app for Google Devices:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.p3tips.gnocampus&hl=en_US&gl=US