MILLERSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Violence, bullying, suicides. Anne Arundel County police are trying to stay ahead of the serious problems that affect schools.

Adam May reports on a new smart phone app believed to be the first of its kind.

You’ve heard the saying “there’s an app for that.” Now there’s a new app that can stop school violence and keep students safe.

The 2012 school year started with violence: a school shooting that injured a student at Perry Hall High. An eighth-grader also brought a gun to another Baltimore County school and another student was stabbed in Baltimore City.

“What we have seen historically, actually solves crimes, prevents tragedies and addresses problems is information,” said Lieutenant J.D. Batten.

That’s why Anne Arundel County police have developed the Speak Out app for smart phones. Students can report threats of school violence, bullying or abuse with a touch of a button.

“We have found no other place, no other police agency that has tried this. It is innovative and untested,” Batten said.

“Yeah, I think it’s gonna work,” said Tyler Argubright.

Argubright is a senior at Old Mill High School. He’s already downloaded Speak Out and urges others to do the same.

“I think students are going to like how it’s discreet. They don’t have to get up during lunch or get up and go to the office,” Argubright said. “And also, I think it’s better access for students.”

Using a format most kids use every day: their phones.

“This partnership with county police is a national model because we do more than talk, we take action,” said Bob Mosier, Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

The Speak Out app is already on Google and it should be available on iTunes in a few days. They’re still waiting for approval from Apple.

If you live in Anne Arundel County and you want your child to download the free app, click here.


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