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Security & Safety | News

Alabama District Adds Home Page Anonymous Reporting Service

An Alabama school district has put in place a reporting system that allows students and others to report sensitive information anonymously from its home page online. Midfield City School District has subscribed to Anonymous Alerts from K12alerts.

The service lets people send details about suspicious activities, bullying, or other problems — family difficulties, self-harm or cutting, drug and alcohol abuse, student depression, sexual harassment, gang related issues or unusual student behavior — via smartphone, tablet, or Web browser. The person doing the reporting can establish a one-way or two-way communication with school personnel; the latter option provides a mechanism by which the recipient can ask follow-up questions and the reporter can receive responses.

"Our top priority is student safety and providing our student community with another avenue to reach out about sensitive issues," said Superintendent Demica Sanders. "The Anonymous Alerts service will help our students to discuss difficult issues without fear of reprisal by their peers. We can then decide if something is credible and what to do with the information or establish a two-way dialogue with that student."

When submitting a message, a student can also upload an image or photo directly from a computing device. If the report is about cyber-bullying, the reporter can include a screenshot from the Web page where the incident occurred.

The same service has been used by the Dobbs Ferry School District and Holland Central School District in New York and Rearden-Edwall School District in Washington, among others.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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