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School Safety Tip Line Toolkit

NCJ Number
Date Published
75 pages

This toolkit is a collection of multifaceted briefs that allow examination of legislation, evidence-backed data, and key attributes of tip lines, in order to support the operationalization, implementation, and maintenance of school safety tip lines.


The School Safety Tip Line Toolkit is a collection of multifaceted briefs designed to engage school stakeholders at the state, local, district, and school levels in assessing the following: key features of tip line implementation and stability; new evidence being collected on tip lines; current legislation establishing tip lines; suggested tip line metrics and data elements; and resource considerations such as cost-benefit analyses. The toolkit is informed by RTI International’s research and evaluation on school safety as well as input from school safety experts and staff operating school safety tip lines. Key findings showed that just over half (51%) of public middle and high schools in the US currently have a tip line in operation and that most tip lines are relatively new with 60% having been in operation for less than three years; principals perceive tip lines as an effective school safety strategy which address multiple threats including violent incidents, bullying, and self-harm incidents; more than half of tip lines are staffed or monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week; most tip lines are described as anonymous rather than confidential; most schools involve school administrators (89%) and law enforcement officers (56%) in their tip line programs but only about 25% involve mental health professionals. The most common challenges for operating a tip line include receiving tips with insufficient evidence to act on; raising student or community awareness; identifying false submissions; and receiving tips considered out of the tip line’s scope.

Date Published: January 1, 2021