The top of his head barely reached the shoulders of the older adult reporters crowded around him at a May 30 White House press briefing.
Wearing a suit and tie, the young man grasped a sheet of paper in front of him. With confidence, he looked toward White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and said, "At my school, we recently we had a lockdown drill. One thing that affects mine and other students' mental health is worrying about the fact that we or our friends could get shot at school. Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?"
The question nearly moved Sanders to tears, as she held back a flow of emotions to answer.
"I think that as a kid and certainly as a parent, there is nothing that could be more terrifying for a kid to go to school and not feel safe, so I am sorry that you feel that way," Sanders said, her voice quivering.
"This administration takes it seriously and the school safety commission that the president convened is meeting this week again in an official meeting to discuss the best ways forward and how we can do every single thing within our power to protect kids in our schools and to make them feel safe and make their parents feel good about dropping them off,” she said.
The National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence (NCPCV), in partnership with Ten8Tech, is working to get a comprehensive school safety, anti-bullying, and anti-violence system of programs, training, and technology into every school in the nation — at no cost to them.
NCPCV’s nationally recognized programs such as GreenZone, paired with ProText My School technology, can give school officials a unique edge to better understand how they can help students communicate and promote a violence-free environment.
GreenZone provides expectations on how people speak and relate to one another. It outlines three zones of behavior (green, yellow, and red) ranging from acceptable to unacceptable. GreenZone programs are tailored to elementary students, middle and high school students, relationships, and parents. The program provides guidelines for students to self-regulate behaviors and provides resources through ProText My School to seek help when they cannot.
ProText My School gives students an anonymous way to get information about bullying and possible threats directly to their school resources.
Unlike traditional text-to-tip technology, ProText My School engages users in an automated conversation about what’s happening. The system’s intelligent, conversational engine uses AI and machine learning to collect critical information via a school-specific number for text messaging or a national web platform. Students, parents, and staff can anonymously share tips and information about bullying and threats. ProText My School evaluates the information, and then provides immediate feedback, instructions, or further questions as needed.
With GreenZone and ProText My School, school officials can have better visibility into events so they can implement streamlined internal procedures, better equip multidisciplinary response (CARE) teams to address student needs, and interrupt the process of violence.
Once information comes into ProText My School and is evaluated, it is sent to a designated multidisciplinary school response team called a CARE (Core Accountability Response and Evaluation) Team. It is not meant to replace 911 for emergencies. Instead, it’s designed to give school officials more insight into what’s happening on campus so they can help students better communicate and promote a violence-free environment.
Each school’s CARE Team can consist of school administration, teachers, counselors, other key staff, and community resources like school resource officers.
This unique pairing uses national best-practices and technology in ways that are effective, nationally scalable, and utilize interpersonal communication frameworks based on cognitive science and sociological principles.
NCPCV and Ten8Tech are currently evaluating an exclusive sponsorship opportunity that will enable GreenZone and ProText My School implementation at every certified K-12 school in the nation at no cost to them.
A grassroots campaign is also underway to raise funds for this endeavor. Join our CrowdRise campaign at https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/protextmyschool.
For more information or to become a sponsor, visit www.protextmyschool.com.