The Monitor

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New app allows students to share tips with school, law officials

NaKayla Silvey, Editor

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It’s been a quiet year at Darnell-Cookman – thankfully! Those of us who were here a few years ago remember a different story, one where Darnell-Cookman had several false threats that caused administrators to evacuate the school.

Now, a new app can help students and other people in the community to quickly and easily report potential threats to school and law enforcement officials. The app, FortifyFL, is backed by the state of Florida and funded by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. The hope is that with easier reporting, more threats will be quickly addressed, potentially saving the lives of students. The app will also allow students to anonymously report information, which could help officials resolve existing threats.

As a seventh-grader at Darnell-Cookman, Alainna Parungao was confused and sought help from upperclassmen and teachers. Scared to hear the word “bomb threat,” her first instinct was to text her mother. But Duval County had already issued a parent notification (texts, calls, emails).  As time went by, many parents, still worried about their children, called the school about their children.

Elliott Stone, now an eighth-grader, remembers another threat two years ago. He said he remembers the confusion involved in going to code red and then code yellow. As with the previous threat, all of Darnell-Cookman’s more than 1,000 students were moved away from potential danger and to The Ville Church. And in both cases, the threats were proved to be hoaxes that cost the school and its students precious classroom time.

Since that time, Darnell-Cookman has enjoyed a time of peace – something that can only be helped by an app like FortifyFL, which is free to download for both Apple and Android. Students can report suspicious activity and can decide whether or not to remain anonymous. As we move forward as a society with efforts to keep terrible things from happening in our schools, FortifyFL is a great way to keep both you and our school safe, so put this app on your phone (and let’s hope we will never have an opportunity to use it).

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