A new phone app released by the Los Angeles Unified School District aims to keep campuses and students safer from a variety of threats, perhaps the foremost among them the recent instances of opioid use and overdoses by students.
The app, Los Angeles Schools Anonymous Reporting or LASAR, lets anyone in “the Los Angeles school community” report anything that the Los Angeles School Police Department, Psychiatric Social Workers, other mental health support or the Los Angeles Police Department need to know in order to intervene, the LAUSD said in a news release.
“The LASAR app represents an additional safety tool at our disposal to protect our students and be a leader in responding to safety incidents such as the opioid crisis among teens,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said in a statement. “Student safety will always be our top priority. Along with the mental health support and social-emotional focus in our curriculum, the anonymous reporting app rounds out our holistic approach to making sure no other student is a victim of the growing opioid epidemic.”
Several students have overdosed at LAUSD campuses in recent months, including multiple incidents at Bernstein High School in Hollywood, where 15-year-old Melanie Ramos died in a school bathroom of a reported fentanyl overdose.
“As drugs and fentanyl make their way into our schools, we need all creative solutions to protect our students and keep drugs off our campuses,” Board President Jackie Goldberg added in a statement. “The launch of an app that allows our school community to anonymously report any concerns or tips is part of a multi-pronged approach to keep our students safe.”
Aside from drugs, other reports can include threats of a school attack, possible suicide, weapons or other dangerous objects, vandalism and “other non-emergency safety issues,” the release said.
As the name indicates, reports made in the app are anonymous, though tipsters can provide contact information for the LASPD to reach out if they’d like.
To download the app, visit the Apple or Android app store and search “LAUSD LASAR.”