Florida prepares to launch app for students to report suspicious behavior

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — As students across Central Florida prepare to head back to school, there will soon be a new way to report suspicious behavior.

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The state is working on a new app in response to the Parkland school shooting.

The app was supposed to launch this week, but officials said it remains a work in progress.

As part of the new school safety law, the state has been working on a new app to report suspicious activity called Fortify-FL.

"I think it definitely could help. Maybe some kids would feel more comfortable if they could submit stuff anonymously," said parent Deanna Hummel. 

For parents and students, phones are a must.

“It's the way of the world now, you know? Instant communication, instant information, so I think it's a really good idea,” said parent Bree Harris.

Lawmakers approved the app after the Parkland shooting. The service will accept anonymous reports from students about potentially dangerous or violent activities, and share that information with law enforcement and schools.

The state initially wanted it ready to go this week, but the app is still a work in progress.

“The times are changing. Kids all have iPhones and Androids. I think the app is a great way to start. Like I said, I don't know if it's going to be the end to all the answers, but definitely it's a great start,” said Hummel said.

Seminole County schools already use an app for tips, but could not say how many have been collected.

The district plans to keep its app even after the state launches the new service, which is expected sometime this fall.

Lawmakers set aside $400,000 to get the app up and running.





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