Sarah Anne Stoddard

Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System to Improve School Safety

Research Project Description
Hsing-Fang Hsieh, Justin E. Heinze, Marc A. Zimmerman, Thomas M. Reischl, Andria B. Eisman, Sarah Anne Stoddard, Jukka Savolainen

Anonymous tip line technologies can be a cost-effective approach to improve school safety through providing secure multi-modal reporting systems and enabling a coordinated response between schools, law enforcement and crisis responders. Technology alone, however, is not the answer. School and youth engagement are critical to ensuring widespread technology adoption and use. The Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS), developed and implemented by the Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) Foundation, has potential to improve school safety as it 1) offers an ?all-in-one? application on computers, phones, and tablets; 2) allows anonymous submissions of tips via multiple mediums when sharing concerns with trusted adults is not an option; and 3) emphasizes positive change of school climate, through educational training and student engagement. There is a lack of rigorous evaluation research, however, assessing the effectiveness of such intervention incorporating anonymous tip line technology to prevent violence and victimization in school communities.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of this SS-ARS intervention in a large multi-ethnic, metropolitan school district to: 1) improve the recognition of mental duress, violent antecedents and other risk behaviors in school communities; and 2) prevent future violent, criminal and other risk behavior among youth.
We will conduct a 2-group randomized control experimental design with 30 middle and high schools (n= 15 control, n= 15 intervention) in the Miami-Dade County School District. We will use multiple methods to collect data to assess school climate, risk reporting, incidents and school-community response including: pre and post-test surveys with students, teachers and school administrators, data extraction from ARS and school and police administrative records, and semi-structured interviews with key school personnel. We will conduct quantitative analyses including multilevel modeling, analysis of covariance with random effects, and time series analysis to assess program effects. We will also assess program implementation and fidelity as it relates to these outcomes. Upon completion of the study, we will submit the data to the NACJD and disseminate our findings to multiple audiences.
This outcomes from this study will be inform state and federal policy, provide useful implementation data to help schools, police departments and other criminal justice organizations collaborate and understand the variables associated with adoption, use and reach of this technology in schools, and expand our understanding of the relationship between anonymous tip lines and violence in school settings.

Department of Justice

Funding Period: 1/1/2018 to 12/31/2020

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