All about the app that’s boosting student safety | #schoolsaftey

  • “Speak Up Speak Out” is an app that the Wisconsin Office of School Safety created to prevent dangerous situations by empowering bystanders to safely and comfortably report threats.
  • Attorney General Kaul spoke at Neenah High School. He was joined by Trish Kilpin, Director of the Office of School Safety.
  • They’re hearing from students directly that it’s a system that works.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Preventing tragedy before it strikes is the goal of the Wisconsin Office of School Safety.

On Tuesday morning, Attorney General Kaul came to speak at Neenah High School about strategies for keeping your kids safe.

“We have received tips about bullying. We’ve received tips with concerns about self-harm, and we received over 100 tips with concerns about a planned school attack.”

Attorney General Kaul was joined by constituents from the Office of School Safety to discuss the effectiveness of a tool called “Speak Up Speak Out” or “SUSO” for high school students.

He was joined by Trish Kilpin, who says SUSO harnesses the power of bystanders to prevent tragedy.

“We know when there had been previous school shootings that 81% of the time another student knew of a person’s plan to attack their school.”

Kilpin says students have been stepping up to the challenge of reporting safety concerns through apps like speak up speak out Wisconsin.

The app is a way for students to share both personal and external sources of concern.

“When there have been previous acts of school violence, including school shootings, it typically starts with a grievance or an upset that an individual feels that they’ve been harmed in some way and that nobody is helping them. SUSO allows us to intervene very early on that pathway to violence.”

The Office of School Safety says one of the strongest prevention tactics is providing a safe space to talk about sensitive topics… and Kilpin says students are telling them that it works.

“We have kids signing back in months later, saying, ‘You helped me last time. Can you help me again?’”

if you have any safety concerns… the Speak Up Speak Out app is free to download from any app store on your phone.

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