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Tip Line Blueprint Offers Help to Schools

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2019
2 pages
This article summarizes the content and benefits of the publication, ”School Tip Line Toolkit: A Blueprint for Implementation and Sustainability,” which provides guidance regarding issues and key decisions for schools considering a tip line as part of their safety plan.
The “Blueprint” notes that tip lines provide students, parents, school personnel, and community members with a “safe and anonymous or confidential way to report a threat or potential threat to student or school safety, thereby equipping authorities with the information needed to respond to threats and avert tragedy … Tip lines are promising, but much is still unknown about their effectiveness.” The Blueprint examines the multiple factors that must be considered when implementing a school tip line or improving an existing tip line. Among the issues discussed in the Blueprint are the mechanics of setting up a tip line, training for those who process the information, responding to tips, archiving and maintaining data, determining best practices, obtaining funding, and risks to consider. A key decision involves determining where to house the tip line, whether in local law enforcement or in the school. How to weed out the actionable information and deal with false tips is another concern that needs to be addressed. Blueprint also advises that a tip line should be only one element of a comprehensive school safety plan. Online access to the Blueprint is provided in this article.
Date Published: April 1, 2019