School Tip Lines Enhance Overall Safety Awareness

Although originally for gun violence prevention, school safety tip lines are address bullying, drug use, and suicide risk among students according to a new report by RTI International.

The RTI International report was based on responses from a nationally representative sample of over 1,200 school principals and was funded through an award from the U.S. Department of Justice. The findings show that over half of public middle and high schools were operating a top line by the end of the prior school year.

From Education Dive:

According to the report, principals surveyed perceive tip lines as an effective safety strategy, addressing multiple threats:

  • 75% thought tip lines made them more aware of safety issues at their schools.
  • Over 50% said their schools’ tip lines had prevented violent incidents.
  • 66% believed tip lines allowed their schools to respond more effectively to bullying.
  • 73% said tip lines prevented incidents of self-harm or suicide.

Over half of school tip lines were staffed or monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and a school staff member received calls, texts or other entries in real time. And most offered a confidential or anonymous way for students, parents and others to report information.

The survey also found the types of middle and high schools more likely to have tip lines were ones with higher enrollments, located in suburbs and in low-poverty areas.

Over 20 states had state legislation requiring the use of tip lines in Fall 2019, with another 3 states pending legislation.