Beginning this school year, students have seen the blue and gold posters plastered in the hallways that read “See Something, Say Something.” The posters ask students to report potentially dangerous behavior and is part of slew of campaigns advocating for school safety across the country. However, students have been left to question what this new campaign actually entails. The Oracle Editorial Board urges clarification surrounding the See Something, Say Something campaign.
Glenbrook South’s See Something, Say Something campaign is modeled after similar initiatives in airports, explained Dean Ronald Bean. Such initiatives encourage travelers to find an airport employee if they notice anything or anyone that leads them to conclude there is a presence of danger or threat.
“The goal is for everybody, students and adults, if you hear something or if you see something that’s a concern, whether it be a concern about a threat or the safety of another student to find some adult that you trust and to share that information,” Bean said.
The Editorial Board commends the creation of this campaign in the wake of the Parkland shooting and other horrific shootings within school environments. This campaign demonstrates concern for our school environment as well as students’ mental health. However, the campaign requires further explanation to the student body regarding its purpose and dependence on student involvement.
The importance of this campaign was recently demonstrated by the incident on Sept. 20, where a threatening message reading “there will be a school shooting on September 25th 2018” was found written on a classroom desk. Although this threat has been deemed harmless and the source has been identified as of Sept. 24, the significance of the See Something, Say Something campaign is illustrated through the actions taken by the two students who reported the message.
The Editorial Board commends the actions of the two students who notified the administration of the message, and encourage other students to take similar precautions. Additionally, the Editorial Board acknowledges the gravity of the situation and discourages people from making light of the possibility of a school shooting.
However, this incident is not the only possible situation that can occur. The Editorial Board is aware of the campaign’s message to share any information with staff but believes there is vagueness in what concerning behavior is that should be reported. In a large school environment, it is hard to discern what may be concerning or threatening behavior among peers and classmates who are unfamiliar. Naming and acknowledging such behavior through the See Something, Say Something campaign will increase the awareness of the student body.
The Editorial Board believes that the behavior specifically named in the See Something, Say Something campaign should include but not be limited to: disengagement from social groups, lack of sleep, and potentially threatening comments or jokes.
Helios Member Jenny Siegel describes concerning behavior as acting abnormally. She believes that students must be able to take a step back and ask themselves questions about their peers from strictly an observer’s stand point.
Siegel suggests questioning the following about your peers and friends: “Are they acting normally? Do they seem like they’re withdrawn from things? Do they seem less interested? Are they sleeping enough?”
Siegel believes these behaviors must be addressed in the See Something, Say Something campaign, because if students are showing these warning signs, they may be a danger to themselves or the school community. By teaching students to ask themselves these questions regarding other classmates, the campaign can achieve its goal of making the school a safer place.
The See Something, Say Something campaign posters also feature methods of which concerning behavior can be reported: through Text-A-Tip or the Titan Concern Center. These reporting methods are listed very small on the bottom on the poster, making it easy to pass over. These resources and the dominance of them should be a focal point of the campaign in order to best ensure the safety of the school.
The campaign would also benefit from progression beyond posters. Though posted strategically and abundantly, the See Something, Say Something posters do not sufficiently promote the campaign. The urgency of school safety reaches far beyond displaying posters in the hall.
The Editorial Board believes further promotion of the campaign can be achieved through a school-wide assembly. This assembly should specify what concerning behavior is, where to report it, how to cope with mental health, etc.
More than anything, the See Something, Say Something campaign relies on the participation and awareness of the Glenbrook South student body. It is crucial for students to look out for their peers who might be facing mental illness and to report concerning behaviors for the betterment of the school. In order for the goal of See Something, Say Something to be achieved, the administration must progress the development of the campaign and spread a clear message of its purpose to the students.