Community works to make school a safer place

Riley Gautieri

For the past few years Fair Grove Schools have worked to create a system to make the school a better and safer place and environment where students can always feel comfortable. In 2012 the school was given a generous donation by Central Bank of the Ozarks to create a school tipline. Here, students and community members can anonymously send in concerns they have about issues going on in the school. They can also ask for help about a problem they are having without having to go into the office and speak with an administrator, which can be a stressful situation for some students, causing them not to come forward. In 2014 the tipline was replaced with SafeTips, the current system that the school uses, “The tip line has been beneficial to our school in two areas… it has created a safety measure to where students can contact us after school hours. It could be that they have something to report or they are in danger themselves. Instead of waiting until the next morning or after the weekend they can immediately get information in our hands,” stated Chris Stalling, high school principal.
The current tip line that the school uses is an app students or community members can download onto a phone or any other device, and is the same app used by Springfield, Missouri Police Department. Individuals can also visit a website where they submit their concerns. From there the tip is sent to the corresponding administrators depending on the age group that the tip is concerned with. Once it has been sent, the individual is given an identification number to keep their identity completely private and the administrators can have one on one conversation, and begin looking into the issue, “The tip line has been very beneficial in helping many students both on campus and away from campus from dangerous situations. We have been able to assist someone that was threatening suicide, we have been able to get both drugs and alcohol off our campus, stopped multiple fights, and we have been able to offer assistance to students who have been bullied,” stated Officer Porter, the school resource officer. Fair Grove believes that this method has been very successful in the school and will continue to utilize it, creating a better atmosphere for students to learn in, and a better community.