Walton-Verona Independent Schools add tipline in hopes of increasing school safety

Walton-Verona school district adding safety tipline

WALTON, Ky. (FOX19) - A Kentucky school district is offering students and parents a new way to anonymously report bullying, threats or any other dangerous situation.

Walton-Verona Independent Schools are adding the “Safety Tipline, Online Prevention” program, also called the S.T.O.P. tipline.

It is an online reporting system that lets students, parents or anyone in the community anonymously share information about potentially unsafe situations.

“Anything suspicious or any potential violence or bullying, anything drug-related," Rob Hartman, the Director of Pupil Personnel and School Safety Coordinator for Walton-Verona schools, said.

Hartman believes the online tipline is easy to use.

“Little form to fill out with just the school that you need attention, how urgent the matter is, a brief description, and you hit send," Hartman said..

Hartman said they added it because they know that students are sometimes scared to speak up.

“Bullying can be one of those things that a student may not feel real comfortable in reporting just because of the social fear that can kind of naturally take place," Hartman said.

Monitoring possible dangers is a group effort, Hartman said, adding that state authorities are also on board.

“Department of Homeland Security actually helps coordinate with that," Hartman said. ”That will definitely help us and maybe even surrounding schools kind of be able to work together with the help of some other agencies. It will help our SROs [school resource officers], and hopefully everyone will stay a little safer that way."

Hartman said that if someone has an emergency, they should skip the tipline and call 911.

Right now, the system is free and available to all schools in Kentucky. Walton-Verona is not the only local district offering it. You can see a list of the current districts with the tipline at the S.T.O.P. website.

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