Students and parents in the Bowling Green Independent School District will soon be able to pass on information about bullying, potential school threats and other safety issues through a new online anonymous tip form.
“It really provides an avenue for young people (and) parents to reach out when they need some help,” said D.G. Sherrill, the district’s director of pupil personnel who recently underwent training for the service.
The district is using the STOP tip service through the Kentucky Center for School Safety. Students or parents can go online to the district’s website to submit an email-style form that will be sent to three district administrators.
Those submitting information can specify whether it involves bullying, violence, drugs and alcohol or abuse, along with other issues, according to a brochure from the Kentucky Center for School Safety.
Once submitted, Sherrill said district administrators will investigate the issue and contact law enforcement if needed. He said the service should be ready before the start of the next school year and available in coming weeks. Information about how to use the service will also be added to the student handbook, he said.
The service is free to Kentucky school districts. Many of them across the state are using the service, including several area school districts. They include the Allen, Barren, Butler and Edmonson County districts, according to a list maintained by the center.
Morgan Watson, chief communication officer for Warren County Public Schools, said the district isn’t looking to use the service because it already has three similar tip lines.
They include its Report A Bully service for reporting serious but nonemergency situations; Helping Hearts, a resource for mental health issues; and the 24-hour Lighthouse Reporting Hotline at 1-800-398-1496 for reporting safety issues to a third party that takes necessary action.
Sherrill thanked the center for providing the service to Kentucky school districts and described it as a step forward for school safety. The recent training he received from the center brought him up to speed on how other school districts have used the service and how to work with community agencies, such as mental health care providers.
Overall, it allows the school district to respond to concerns in a more proactive way, Sherrill said.
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