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School Violence Tip Lines
posted by: Ruthie | December 19, 2013, 05:08 PM   

As the country honors the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy last weekend, lawmakers, school administrators, teachers, and parents continue to work on improving school safety.  While we struggle to find a balance that keeps students safe, Lansing, Michigan legislators have found an interesting means of mitigating school violence –
a  tip line.

Modeling Colorado’s OK-2-SAY law, developed after the Columbine shooting, the measure will allow school employees, students, and any other stakeholders to secretly report threats of harm or criminal acts against K-12 students. The hotline will run 24/7 and accept tips through a variety of mediums – texts, email, videos, and even an app. Tips will then be passed on to local law enforcement and school leaders.

According to a spokeswoman
for Michigan’s Attorney General, the Colorado tip line program has fielded roughly 9,000 tips since 2004, documenting and resolving 284 planned school attacks, 1,300 planned suicides, nearly 1,400 drugs/alcohol reports, 2,200 bullying incidents, 569 sex offenses and 320 gun/weapon reports.

"If we can save just one life ... then we will have been successful," said Attorney General Bill Schuette during a news conference at Governor Rick Snyder's office.

While critics have questioned the need for both 911 and the tip line, Governor Snyder claimed that more resources would benefit students and schools. “I would rather have the tools available,” he said.

Similarly, Governor Snyder responded to constituents’ qualms about the hotline being used by pranksters, saying, "These are serious matters, and I think kids really do appreciate that."

What do you think about this program? What programs do your school and district use to report violence?
Comment below.

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