Ohio’s new school safety app: How it works | #schoolsaftey

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus City Schools parent arrested and charged with bringing weapons onto school property faced a judge today for the first time. School leaders say in this case — someone saw something and said something.

And statewide — there’s a new resource to report school safety concerns.

Bryan Johnson was arraigned in court Thursday morning and is being held on a $25,000 cash surety bond. Johnson is charged with illegal conveyance of a deadly weapon in a school safety zone.

Police say they found a machete, hatchet, and a Glock-manufactured BB Gun in Johnson’s vehicle that was parked at Westmoor Middle School Wednesday.

A statement from CCS explained what happened before police arrived: “As a precaution, Westmoor Middle School increased its security level just before dismissal after a staff member noticed a parent with a weapon on their person. The school called Columbus Police while the Safety and Security specialist directed the parent away from the building.”

There is a resource available statewide – an anonymous tip line where people can call and report concerns about weapons, student or staff behavior, and more.

And just this month — the Ohio School Safety Center launched a new app — to submit tips by district — and by specific location inside a school.

Emily Torok is the executive director of the Ohio School Safety Center and says the top three tips they receive are about: bullying, threats of violence and self-harm.

Each year they see an increase in tips about incidents of bullying.

Torok explained who staffs the tip line and how they respond.

“We work with a third-party call center that is staffed with crisis response professionals that answer the lines and answer our tips directly 24/7,” explained Torok. “So when they receive a tip, they will if it’s an immediate life safety concern, they will contact local law enforcement for that specific school or district. If it is not an immediate life safety concern, it doesn’t go to law enforcement, but it still goes directly to the school.”

The number for the Safer Ohio School Tip Line: 844-723-3764.

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