Students, parents, and community members with school safety concerns have a new way to anonymously share their information with school officials.
A new “Safeschools Alert” button on the home page of the Tooele County School District’s website takes users to a portal that gives directions for different four options to report school safety issues.
The Safeschools Alert Program is a tipline for school administrators to collect information on bullying, harassment, gangs, drugs, suicide, school violence and other abusive situations.
“When we reviewed our policy on bullying, one of the main concerns I had was improving our communication with parents and better documentation,” said Scott Rogers, district superintendent. “Safeschools Alert does all that for us.”
The program provides an anonymous way for people to provide information to school officials by phone, email, text, or from a website.
The information provided is sent to an administrator in the building and to a district official for investigation, monitoring and follow up.
The program allows the school administrator to communicate anonymously with the person providing the tip to get additional information.
The tip provider is also given a report access number that they can use to retrieve updated information on the progress of action taken on the tip.
Two videos, one that provides an overview of the Safeschools Alert Program and one that defines bullying, can also be viewed after clicking on the Safeschools Alert button.
“Safeschools allows for tips on bullying and safety to be passed on to the appropriate school officials,” said Jim Langston, Tooele County School District technology director, “and the official and the person providing the tip can communicate anonymously.” He demonstrated the system for school board members at their meeting Tuesday.
The new internet-based tipline was one of the initiatives announced by Rogers in November to address survey results that indicated a rise in bullying incidents.
Incidents of local students being picked on or bullied while on school property jumped from 14.5 percent in 2011 to 23.4 percent in 2013, according to student responses in the 2013 Student Health and Risk Prevention survey.
“This program, along with school-based curriculum and trainings, are part of our plan to reduce bullying in our schools,” said Rogers.
The school district website can be found at http://tooeleschools.org.