The Iowa Governor’s School Safety Bureau is rolling out an application intended to help prevent violence, unlawful possession of weapons, self-harm, and other forms of victimization and threatening behaviors in schools across the state.
The anonymous app, Safe+Sound Iowa, will be available to students, school staff, parents, and concerned community members to help identify and provide intervention for students in crisis before they hurt themselves or others.
According to a press release from the Iowa Department of Education, safety concern reports can be made via the free app, by going to SafeandSoundIowa.gov, or by calling a 1-800 number.
The Department of Education noted that trained dispatchers continuously monitor reports made through Safe+Sound Iowa and immediately engage in two-way communication with those raising concerns to ensure the information is vetted. Dispatchers then share information with the appropriate local school safety contact, law enforcement, or other community partners so outreach and support can be provided to the student in crisis.
Participating schools will have access to a variety of resources intended to help train staff and encourage students and others to use the reporting tools available, including:
- Brief “How-To” Video demonstrating how to use the Safe+Sound Iowa app and submit a report;
- Easy “How It Works” Guidebook detailing what Safe+Sound Iowa is and how it works, with answers to frequently asked questions;
- Introductory PowerPoint introducing Safe+Sound Iowa with tips on how to use it, and how to talk about it with parents, students, and the community to encourage awareness and use;
- Informational One Sheet about Safe+Sound Iowa to post or share with others;
- Downloadable Posters for print and use in promoting Safe+Sound Iowa to middle and high school students;
- Social Media Toolkit to post content on social media channels that informs and amplifies core messages, and allows constituents to repost content;
- Branded Digital Graphics in a variety of sizes to reinforce messages on websites, newsletters, and correspondence; and
- Message templates for school administrators to use when communicating to teachers and staff and parents about Safe+Sound Iowa being made available in your district.
The press release said that additional tools will continue to be added to SafeandSoundIowa.gov to help support the promotion and adoption of the program.