Officials brief State Board of Education on Suspicious Activity Reporting system

State officials Tuesday provided details on the Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) system to report anonymously possible safety issues.

The briefing to the State Board of Education was made as schools across the state start a new school year.

Safety officials have been working to create one repository to analyze possible threat information. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has been working with the Kansas Highway Patrol, which responds to the Kansas School Safety Hotline, to copy information they receive and upload it to SAR.

New posters will be provided to school districts that include the Kansas School Safety hotline (1-800-626-8203); the Parent and Youth Resource Hotline (for acts of bullying 1-800-332-6378) and the SAR, which will include a QR code, which officials say students are more apt to use in reporting school safety, violence and other issues. Here is the website link to start a suspicious activity report https://www.kbi.ks.gov/sar

“When it comes to reporting, the children know what is going on,” said Susan McMahon, Kansas State Department of Education director of safe and secure schools unit.

Suspicious activity may include an expressed threat; recurring, brief visits to and from a property; attempts to enter restricted areas; or signs of human trafficking indicating a person isn’t free to leave.

State Board of Education member Michelle Dombrosky asked McMahon how people who report issues know if their issues are addressed. McMahon said state officials always go back to the school and talk with leaders to see if the concern has been addressed.

State Board of Education member Ben Jones said it’s impossible to stop every incident but he appreciated the efforts. “We need to do everything we can,” he said.

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