New program allows elementary school students to report abuse in Pender County

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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Pender County Schools is rolling out a new way for students to report abuse.

The newest addition to the PenderSAFE program is tailored specifically for elementary school kids to report things like bullying, violence, and drug and alcohol abuse.

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Last year, Pender County Schools partnered with the Sandy Hook Promise to offer the Say Something anonymous reporting system to students in middle and high school.

However Pender County Schools spokesman Alex Riley says there was no elementary school component. He says the brand new Say Something Jr. feature makes it easier for younger students to report abuse using pictures.

Riley says a program like this is especially crucial right now.

“It’s pretty easy for a teacher to identify maybe something’s going on with this student,” Riley said. “Well right now, with a third of our students basically being remote learners and then not seeing them on an everyday basis as-is, it’s more important than ever to have a platform and a portal that they can go to if something is going on and let us know.”

Riley says teachers are working with students to explain the system. It can be accessed on the virtual learning pages or the district website.