Security | News

Schools Adopt System for Reporting Concerns

Two school systems have recently adopted the same anonymous reporting system, but for different reasons. The Bradley County Schools system in Cleveland, TN has adopted Threat Assessment, Incident Management, and Prevention Services (TIPS) to allow the district community to report on concerns or incidents regarding students; New Hampton School, a boarding school in the foothills of New Hampshire's White Mountains, has implemented TIPS to improve faculty and staff support and communications.

TIPS is a Web-based risk management and incident reporting platform from Awareity. A typical use in schools is to provide a means for students, parents, faculty, staff, and others to report behaviors such as bullying or potential drug use, suspicious incidents, or general safety or security concerns to school staff. Reporting can be done anonymously or openly. Those reports are delivered to a list of recipients, such as administrators or school resource officers.

Bradley has added a link to the TIPS logo right on its home page. It leads to a page that explains that TIPS doesn't perform emergency response.

"TIPS is a tool to be utilized by school administrators and law enforcement to increase awareness of student safety and concerning behaviors within our schools," said Scotty Hernandez, safety and security coordinator. "This tool has the potential to detect, deter, and disrupt unwanted behavior or criminal activity."

The district received funding to implement the service through a Safe Schools grant.

New Hampton School put TIPS in place as part of an initiative to become "one of the most desirable independent schools to work for," according to the school's strategic plan. The new system is intended to provide employees with a way to report issues of concern. Once a form is submitted, it's sent to several department heads.

"TIPS is providing New Hampton School with a great tool for employees should there be a need to share concerns in order to ensure we are preventing situations from escalating," said Director of Finance, Jill Duncan. "If necessary, we are also able to easily communicate with our outside legal team using TIPS. It's a program that we are glad to have in place and hope employees never have to use."

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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