School Violence Hotline Set Up
A Missouri hotline hopes to reduce the chance of violence in schools throughout the state.
As most middle school students go about their day, school safety may not be on their minds. But Brent Ghan of the Missouri School Boards Association thinks about school safety every day.
"Schools remain very safe places for kids, but that doesn't mean we don't need to be prepared for incidents that can happen," said Ghan.
And those incidents are what the Missouri Violence Hotline is set up to prevent. The hotline was started in 2001 as a tool to help prevent violence in the classroom, bullying, threats and harassment.
The hotline functions as a go-between for school officials and law enforcement. But it's also there for parents or students who witness an incident or know of one that may occur.
"It provides an avenue for anyone who's concerned about events that they see on school property or at school events," explained Ana Compain-Romero from the Department of Social Services. "It's a place where they can report some areas of concern they may have where kids may be in danger."
Two of the best benefits of the hotline are its simplicity and the fact that called can remain anonymous. So if parents, students, administrators or anyone in the community has concerns about violence in school, they can simply call the hotline to air out their concerns.
A simple phone call may go far in protecting Missouri school children from potential violence. This year, hotline use has increased by 57 percent over its 2006 level.