Safe to Say button helps LPS stop student from bringing BB gun to school

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A student helped Lincoln Public Schools stop another student from bringing an airsoft BB gun to school on Thursday.

LPS is giving some of the credit to its online Safe to Say button, which is how the district got the tip.

Around six years ago, LPS started the button to give the community a way to contact the district.

“This way, it gives people a chance anywhere, anytime, with a phone or a computer, to tell us what their concern is,” Director of Security Joseph Wright said.

On Thursday, Safe to Say proved its usefulness.

One student sent in a tip through the button.

The report said another student was planning on bringing an airsoft BB gun to school.

Because LPS received that information ahead of time, it was able to stop the student and deal with the situation appropriately.

“If we can act in a timely fashion, we can stop something before it actually gets to school or in the school,” Wright said. “A lot of times, we’ll work in partnership with the police department to call on homes of students or employees, even after hours, to be sure they’re OK.”

You can find the green Safe to Say button on the homepage for LPS and on any of its schools’ webpages.

It’s a way for anyone to tell LPS about something they’re worried about.

It can be any type of concern, whether it’s about mental health or a threat to school safety.

Once LPS receives the message, Wright said, it’s passed along to the proper person.

He said if you’re submitting a tip, it’s best to include the name of the person you’re concerned about, along with the school they go to.

“That helps us get a head start on things so we don’t have to do too much research before we actually make contact with someone,” Wright said.

Submissions can also be anonymous, which Wright said is crucial.

“People are more willing to share at times with that capacity,” he said. “If we think someone is in trouble, they might be thinking about self-harm or something like that, we want to get them help right away … Waiting until the next day or waiting until Monday morning could be waiting too long.”

Wright said LPS is planning to implement a Safe to Help button soon as well, where anyone having trouble can talk with another person in real time.

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