Anti-gun-violence advocates are promoting a new reporting tool they hope will help prevent future school shootings.
Sandy Hook Promise, a national organization, announced the launch of the Say Something anonymous reporting system for schools across the country. The first states to access the system are California, Florida, Texas and New York. The Burnet school district northwest of Austin will roll out the program in the next two weeks.
The launch was accompanied by a public service announcement titled, "The Other Side," featuring a portrayal of a troubled youth planning a school attack.
"Most people think that a school shooting could never happen here, but those people are the ones who saw all the signs and never said anything," the youth says in the video.
The new Say Something tools allow students to submit information anonymously about classmates who appear at risk of hurting themselves or others. Tips can be submitted on an app, on a website or by calling a 24/7 crisis center.
The crisis center prioritizes tips, which are referred to participating school districts and law enforcement, according to a news release.
Sandy Hook Promise pays 100 percent of the costs of implementing the program at school districts that want to participate. The PepsiCo Foundation underwrote the rollout in California, Florida, Texas and New York, which the advocacy group describes as four of the nation's most at-risk states for gun violence.
"Now, not only will schools be trained to know the signs of potential violence, they can also take action to submit a tip anonymously and be sure it is case-managed by schools and local law enforcement," Nicole Hockley, managing director at Sandy Hook Promise, said in the news release. She is the mother of a victim of the Dec. 14, 2012, mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that claimed 20 children and six adults.
The launch of the reporting tool comes five weeks after 17 people were killed in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. That shooting has prompted communities across the country to reassess school safety systems.
In North Texas, many school leaders are also looking at ways to better secure campuses. Earlier this week, the Fort Worth school district approved an agreement with Fort Worth police that allows officers to access security video in real time during emergencies.
In the Northwest school district, which includes north Fort Worth and Justin, students and parents are invited to take part in a Facebook Live session on school safety planned for 6:30 p.m. Thursday on the district's Facebook page.
Northwest schools recently responded to threats on social media. Two students were arrested after a gun was taken to Northwest High School.