SAFE SCHOOLS

SafeUT app helps parents, students and schools during safety threats

Dec 14, 2021, 6:24 PM | Updated: 9:15 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The supervisor of the SafeUT app said days like Utah experienced on Monday — with several school safety threats — show the vital role the app plays in helping students, parents and school administrators.

“We tend to notice a lot of anxiety around these events with students and parents,” Dénia-Marie Ollerton, the SafeUT supervisor with the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, said.

Ollerton said when a tip comes in through the app, it’s assessed for risk and then sent to the school immediately.

“Even if it’s three in the morning, if we have to, we’ll wake administrators up and say, ‘We’ve got to handle this ASAP,’” she said.

When the SafeUT app receives multiple tips about the same topic, Ollerton said it shows that the community is working together, and that parents and students aren’t assuming that someone else has reported the possible threat. She reminds that all tips are confidential.

“We take that very seriously, and that’s a huge part of the success where people feel comfortable to send in a confidential tip,” Ollerton said. “They don’t have to say who they are, but they can report something that they’ve seen.”

In the case of West High School on Monday where police said a student brought a gun to school, a spokesperson for the district said students who saw a concerning post on social media quickly told school officials, prompting a lockdown.

“I think the main thing to take away from this is that tragedy was avoided because students spoke up and did the right thing,” Yándary Chatwin, spokesperson for the Salt Lake City School District, said.

Once the school was in lockdown, Chatwin said school administrators also received the same tip through the SafeUT app.

“The SafeUT app is an incredible resource, and anyone watching this who has a student or who is a student should absolutely download that to their cell phones right now,” Chatwin said.

The free app is available 24 hours a day for students, parents and educators. In addition to the tip line, there is also a crisis chat line with connections to licensed counselors.

“In talking about, ‘Hey, my school went on lockdown and it’s scary,’ or, ‘Hey, my kid’s school went on lockdown. What do I tell them?’ We’re there to help walk you through those moments,” Ollerton said.

Ollerton said it’s important to raise awareness about the app as students head into the holiday break from school.

“We do see around the holidays a lot more intense feeling about the stress and anxiety and any conflict at home or fear of going back to school,” Ollerton said. “And so we really look just to support these students.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Safe Schools

FILE - UCLA campus in Los Angeles (Google Earth Pro)...
STEFANIE DAZIO, COLLEEN SLEVIN & JOHN ANTCZAK, Associated Press

Police: Man in custody in Colo. over alleged threats to UCLA

A man who allegedly threatened the University of California, Los Angeles, and detailed potential violence against the prominent university over hundreds of pages has been taken into custody in Colorado following a standoff Tuesday.
10 months ago
An unidentified school hallway.(FILE PHOTO, KSL TV)...
Larry D. Curtis, KSL TV

Roosevelt police charge 3 students after threats promoting school gun violence

Police in Roosevelt City said they have charged three local students with a felony each for participating in a social media campaign to threaten schools.
11 months ago
Ogden school resource officers went back to class to learn about connecting with teens. (Winston Ar...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

New class helps Ogden school resource officers connect with teens

School resource officers with Ogden Police Department attended an important class Tuesday designed to help officers understand students better. 
12 months ago
Woods Cross Teen Center rendering. (Davis Education Foundation)...
Dirk Facer, KSL TV

Woods Cross HS breaking ground on homeless center

Groundbreaking today for a teen resource center for students experiencing homelessness.
12 months ago
...
Debbie Worthen, KSL TV

Canyon School District creates school shooting response plan

After a student shooting occurred just off campus of Union Middle School, Canyon School District has created a school shooting response plan.
1 year ago
...
Matt Rascon, KSL TV

New Utah Bill Aims To Make School Threats A Crime

A new bill introduced by Utah lawmakers would make it a crime for adults and minors to make threats against schools.
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
SafeUT app helps parents, students and schools during safety threats