App helps Noblesville students report threats anonymously

Noblesville schools app

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — As school leaders across the country consider how to minimize the risk of tragedy in the wake of a school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people, Noblesville Schools are encouraging students to use an app to report suspicious behavior.

On Thursday, two students did just that.

A message sent from the school to parents said students overheard a classmate making a threat against the school on the bus ride home. The students used a student iPad and an app called SpeakUp to report the threat confidentially.

Police contacted the student who made the threat and quickly found it not credible, according to the school.

“It makes you scared for your kids,” said Emily DeRosa, a mother with a child at Noblesville High School. “You are also glad there’s some sort of plan in place or something for a child to do if they hear something like that.”

Noblesville Police Department Lt. Bruce Barnes told 24-Hour News 8 he could not comment on details of the case, but he said students should not hesitate to report suspicious behavior.

“Without the help of society — school corporations, students, parents — we just simply cannot get our job done,” Barnes said.

School leaders say people starting using the app during the 2017-2018 school year and have reported more than 200 issues ranging from cyberbullying to sexual harassment. Students can choose whether their report is anonymous when submitting the issue, according to SpeakUp’s website.

DeRosa said she’s encouraging her daughter to use the system if she has to.

24-Hour News 8 reached out to Indianapolis Public Schools and Hamilton Southeastern Schools, asking if they use similar apps or programs but did not hear back from either school district.