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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019 4 months ago

School board approves adoption of FortifyFL app, SpeakOut Hotline

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Orange County Public Schools will be promoting these two communication tools for reporting suspicious activity.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

With Orange County students heading back to school in just a few days, the School Board has approved adopting two suspicious-activity communication tools.

During the School Board meeting on Aug. 6, board members decided that Orange County Public Schools will now promote two of these tools, SpeakOut Hotline and the FortifyFL app, for reporting suspicious activity. 

According to OCPS, "as part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Safety Act, school districts are required to implement a student crime-watch program to promote responsibility among students and improve school safety."

FortifyFL was created and funded by the 2018 Florida Legislature as part of this act, and the app was named by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. FortifyFL allows students and adults to report school-related suspicious activity through either the online reporting tool or mobile app, which is free and can be found in the App Store and on Google Play.

Students can use FortifyFL to provide a description of the threat, as well as share photos and videos. They can report tips anonymously or provide their contact information. FortifyFL then automatically routes these reports to the appropriate law-enforcement agencies and school officials. For more information about FortifyFL, click here.

According to its website, the SpeakOut Hotline is designed to help students anonymously report any threatening behavior. Students can download the free P3 Tips app on their phones and report tips anonymously, submit tips online at speakouthotline.org or call 800-423-TIPS. 

Danielle Hendrix is the Associate Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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