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School district to implement anonymous reporting program

Sunnyside High School and middle school students will soon have anonymous means of alerting school officials to potentially dangerous situations.

At last night's regularly scheduled school board meeting, Ryan Maxwell, Sunnyside High School assistant principal, explained the AnComm system to officials.

"It's a new way for students to alert authorities (to potential dangers)," he said, explaining that students log on, anonymously explain the issue in the school and, if there's imminent danger, the message will be sent via text to school district administrators.

"It's a good way for kids to anonymously report incidents at our school to make it safer," Maxwell said.

Maxwell said staff has been reviewing AnComm for about a year now and has decided it's "far superior" to an anonymous phone reporting system. "Kids are more apt to log on to a computer than to call in," he said.

He said that AnComm will have access to student identities. If administrative staff must know the identity of students, they will have to prove their case before AnComm will release the information.

Maxwell said the next step will be to arrange staff and student training on the system so that it's up and running by next fall.

Cost for the program is $5,990 and will come out of each school's budget.

Superintendent Rick Cole asked if this would benefit students who witness a crime outside of the school environment, and Maxwell said that it would.

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