SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - In the wake of an increase in school threats since the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school, the Poway Unified School District held a forum on campus safety Tuesday night.
Hundreds of parents and students packed a performing arts center to hear from administrators and law enforcement.
District Attorney Summer Stephan stressed the need for parents to communicate to their kids that making a threat, even as prank, is a crime.
Also on Tuesday, The City of Poway introduced a new hotline to report potential school threats.
The hotline will be monitored around the clock and is open to students, parents, teachers and community members.
By dialing 844-PUSD-TIP, Poway students and others can directly report any threats.
Poway Mayor Steve Vaus praises the new 24-hour student hotline with its launch coming only six days after he suggested it to the Poway city manager.
Callers can opt to remain anonymous when calling the phone line that will be monitored by the Poway Sheriff's Station.
February's Parkland, Florida, school massacre has had many parents, students and staff on edge.
In addition to Poway's phone line, there are other resources now across the county.
"We've had a spike in school threats since Parkland," said Chula Vista Police Department Captain Vern Sallee. "[There's] an app called P3 that students can download on their phone - it's completely anonymous."
Once you log on to P3 Tips you can then select the type of crime as in threats and then comes a detailed form to fill out.
"The students can actually go through drop down menus to report a variety of disorders or crime problems in schools [from] drugs to actual threats or to weapons on campus," said Capt. Sallee. "Those are vetted immediately and report it to the appropriate law-enforcement jurisdiction."
Some parents are already letting their kids know about the new tech tackling threats.
"I will talk to him about it," said parent Denisse Escobar. "I'm not sure if he will [use it], but I think it's one of those things where you know, he knows that it's there and if he has a concern he knows that he can go to it."
Whatever school you attend in Poway District our new school safety hotline covers you. Unprecedented cooperation between @cityofpoway @PowayUnified @SDSheriff @SanDiegoPD made it possible. Special thx to @tjzane @mkimphelps pic.twitter.com/IPgMvxoS0B— Steve Vaus (@SteveVaus) March 6, 2018
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