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SchoolMessenger Acquires Anonymous Communications Provider AnComm
Anonymous communications provider AnComm is being acquired by the parent company of SchoolMessenger, a major provider of notification services for K-12 and higher education.
AnComm's service, Talk About It, is a hosted online system that allows students to report incidents of violence, threats, bullying, depression, and other issues to teachers and administrators anonymously. It also provides e-mail capabilities for students and allows members of a school community to participate in polls, with some schools choosing to use the polling system for class elections and the like. According to SchoolMessenger, it's currently in use by about 300,000 students in the United States.
SchoolMessenger, operated by Reliance Communications, is an Internet-based alert and communications system designed specifically for schools. It provides e-mail and voice notification for a variety of devices, SMS text messaging, classroom messaging, posting to major social networking sites, translation to 50 languages, Web- and phone-based parent access, and various reporting tools. It's in use by "thousands" of schools in all 50 states, according to the company.
“As on-campus safety concerns and incidents have escalated over the last decade, thousands of schools and districts nationwide have turned to SchoolMessenger to provide messaging and notification solutions that allow them to connect and communicate directly with millions of parents, students and staff every day,” said Sanford Kenyon, president and CEO of Reliance Communications, in a statement released Tuesday. “Talk About It is a natural extension of our suite of on-demand solutions that can provide customers with an affordable, one-of-a-kind communications tool that allows students to break the ‘code of silence’ and seek immediate help from trusted school staff members before tragedy strikes. We believe that just as emergency notification solutions have become a ‘must have’ in K-12, anonymous communication tools will quickly be adopted to address the myriad of on-campus challenges raised by bullying, stress, family problems, academic pressures and more.”
As part of the acquisition, AnComm CEO Carter B. Myers will join SchoolMessenger as vice president of anonymous communications solutions.
According to information released today by SchoolMessenger, Talk About It is available to all schools, regardless of notification provider. Additional details can be found on the SchoolMessenger Talk About It portal.