In an effort to keep students safe, Laguna Beach’s public school administrators have established a telephone hotline that allows students, staff and parents to report school related concerns confidentially, the district announced last week.
A dedicated phone number allows tipsters to text or call in concerns. The Text-A-Tip hotline is confidential, but not anonymous, and tipsters may receive follow-up texts for clarification, the statement said.
The program is a collaboration between the school district and the city’s police department. “Every text and voicemail is logged and we will work collaboratively to assess the validity of each one,” LBHS Assistant Principal Bob Billinger said in a statement. “If the information happens to be false or a misuse of the hotline, provisions have been established to address those who misuse this valuable tool.”
The program began this week at the high school. Administrators met with student leaders to discuss the tool, according to the statement.
Additionally, administrators will be visiting all English classrooms to introduce the program as well as answer any questions.
Some students have expressed appreciation for a tool to help keep their fellow classmates and campus safer, according to Billinger.
LBHS Principal Joanne Culverhouse said, “Text -A-Tip is an opportunity for our students to be ‘up standers’ instead of ‘by standers’ when they have concerns for the health and safety of other students. We have caring and conscientious students on our campus and I am confident they will use this new system to report incidents that will keep their peers safe.”
Text-A-Tip is a tip line only; in case of an actual emergency, the school-community is instructed to phone 9-1-1.