September 15, 2008
SchoolTipline(TM) Introduces Web Site to Keep Schools Safe
To: TECHNOLOGY EDITORS
PROVO, Utah, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Students and parents now have an online weapon to fight bullying, violence, drugs, theft and vandalism in their schools. SchoolTipline(TM) (http://www.schooltipline.com) allows them to anonymously report these threats via SafeTalk(TM), an Internet and text messaging system that delivers safety concerns directly to a school principal, administrator or safety officer.
Once a report is submitted, school officials are notified of potential problems in real-time, allowing them to ask for additional information while maintaining the student's anonymity. Students can follow up on their reports by logging back into the Web site.
"There have been stolen items recovered, fights prevented and a student reported for selling something suspicious, which turned out to be caffeine pills," said Taran Chun, vice principal of Dixon Middle School in Provo, Utah, an early adopter of SchoolTiplines service.
The SchoolTipline Web site also features a dashboard function that totals and categorizes resolved cases to enable parents, students and school administrators to collaborate and get a more accurate measure of incidents that occur in their school. Parents and students may invite their school to participate at www.SchoolTipline.com.
Administrators can also leverage the Web site's survey forum to ask questions of the student body, and can use the student notification plan to quickly notify parents and students about developing safety concerns in their schools.
A survey conducted by SchoolTipline recently found that 83 percent of Dixon Middle School students prefer an anonymous Web site to an anonymous phone call. Seventy-five percent of students said that they would use SchoolTipline to anonymously report bullying. Many failed to do so in the past because they didn't know where to report, they were afraid the school wouldn't do anything, they weren't comfortable telling anyone or they feared other students would find out. But SchoolTipline alleviates all of these concerns by providing a safe environment for students to directly contact a school safety officer, administrator or principal.
"As a principal, my first job is to make sure that my school is safe," said Rosanna Ungerman, principal of Dixon Middle School. "Students always know before adults when there is a crime, threat, or activity that is, or will be, dangerous. I want students to know that they have a place to report problems, without being identified if necessary. As long as the incident gets reported, we have a shot at prevention."
Kevin McKay, Superintendent of Zillah Independent School District in Wash., said that he is looking forward to using the SchoolTipline program on several of his campuses this fall.
"We're trying to take advantage of every available avenue that can help us provide a safer academic environment for our students and SchoolTipline is going to do that for us," McKay said.
Brigham Young University graduate Justin Bergener created SchoolTipline.com in 2007. It services schools across Texas, Utah, California, Washington and Arizona. His business plan won first in the 2008 BYU eBusiness competition and second in both the 2008 BYU Business Plan Competition and BYU Social Venture Competition. SchoolTipline also won the 2008 Undergraduate Northwest Venture Championship(R) and placed fifth in the MootCorp(R) competition.
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