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Tiplines Make Police Act As School Counselors


Tiplines force police to deal with what school counselors are trained to. How does that impact students? 

Improving student safety
One of the earliest tools developed to support policing, the tipline, hasn’t changed much since its original incarnation. Whenever students are submitting their concerns via these tiplines, all received tips are rarely filtered and are instead directly passed to law enforcement. Counselors struggle with the liability of filtering out a valid threat. Police feel an obligation to pursue all tips, but are the tips always handled in a way that’s best for the student?

Constitutional Violation?
With tiplines, students are experiencing legal consequences before committing crimes. A student in Florida sent a Snapchat shooting at a target in his backyard with the caption “getting ready for prom.” This was reported through an anonymous tipline. For posting this photo, he was charged with terrorism. (STACI– I can’t find this news story, could you please link it? I need to fill in some more details like which tipline, what school, etc.)

Do tiplines alone help students?
It is said that these tips greatly aid in preventing school shootings and in-school violence. They’re told that having tiplines available to students at their fingertips, enables instantaneous reporting and thus prevention. In fact, according to this Pew article, they are only part of the puzzle:

School districts need a system for keeping track of and addressing worrisome behavior way before a student reaches a crisis point, said William Woodward, one of the report authors and director of training and technical assistance at the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado. The center is working with Colorado schools to improve intervention.

Having Tips but No System
A familiar situation is also a nightmare outcome: a tip being received but no action being taken. We heard of this with (SOURCE) incident, involving students in (state). FightSong partners with tiplines as the primary dashboard for incident management for counselors.

Student-lead policing with Anonymous Tip Lines
Blad’s popular piece via EdWeek encourages schools to supplement their policing through anonymous bullying reporting apps such as Safe2Tell, SaySomething, and Okay2Say. However, for schools that wish to support their students through increasing conversations between students and school counselors through messaging, there’s a new addition to the basic tipline: counselor messaging with analytics allowing administrators to track the health of their school communities.

Tiplines Don’t Drive Counselor Interactions, They Drive Police Interventions
We Help Build the Student and School Counselor Relationship through keeping counselor-appropriate conversations with counselors and allowing quick escalation to involve law enforcement were helpful to the student and appropriate. Students are more likely to text than talk. It makes sense for counselors to meet students where they’re at– online. Plus, a platform based workflow reduces paperwork, giving counselors and administrators more time for more effective connections with students.

We Train School Counselors, Administrators, Resource Officers, Psychologists, and Behavioral Teams
FightSong offers training, support, and onboarding including in-person presentations, webinars and online training videos for school counselors and administrators. This also includes our research-based antibullying curriculum.

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Using only the latest research on bullying and mental health, Kacy supports evidence based education practices for all educators, including school counselors, administrators, psychologists, teachers and school resource officers.

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