Education

State urges anonymous reporting of school threats. It just got easier

Anyone can anonymously report potential threats against a school with the release of a phone application called FortifyFL.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, signed by Gov. Rick Scott in March, required the creation of a “suspicious activity reporting tool.”

It was a response to the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, in Parkland. A news release said students of the school recommended “FortifyFl” as a name.

“The app, which is available for download on Apple and Android mobile devices, is critical to ensuring all Florida schools are safe environments where students and educators can experience and share the joy of learning without fear,” the release states.

A submission form is also available at getfortifyfl.com. Both the website and the app relay tips to public safety agencies and school officials, and the user decides whether he or she wants to remain anonymous.

And when a name or contact information is submitted, the law requires school districts and law enforcement agencies to keep the report confidential.

FortifyFL allows users to submit photos and videos as well. The app’s creation was led by the Florida Department of Education, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Florida Office of the Attorney General.

Students and parents in Manatee County are also able to submit reports of bullying through the district’s existing cellphone app.

“MySDMC” allows users to submit anonymous tips and photos related to potential bullying.

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