"Safe Schools" system provides anonymous tip hotline for student - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

"Safe Schools" system provides anonymous tip hotline for students

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RICHLAND, WA - After yesterday's terrible shooting in south Florida, we wanted to check in with our local schools to see if there's anything new on keeping our kids safe at school.

We spoke with the Richland School District and found out about a new alert system called "Safe Schools." The online alert system was actually presented to the board of directors just a day before the Florida school shooting.

Since students often know what is happening in the school before administration, Safe Schools allows them to alert staff anonymously either through text, the website, email, and phone.

Other schools in Washington already use this alert system. The website even says administrators in Washington received a tip through Safe Schools that a student was bringing a shotgun to school.

Today we spoke with Steve Aagard with the Richland School District, who says a system like this was needed and that students even requested that something be done.

"We've heard from student leaders at our high schools that students need a way to contact our principals anonymously," Aagard said. "So we do have students who come forward in person but some may not feel comfortable. So this is another way for students to contact their principal."

Aagard says the Safe Schools system should be up and running by March. He also pointed out that this isn't only meant for things like threats against the school. It can be used for cyber bullying, drugs, domestic abuse, or family and home issues.

Washington State House Bill 2801 actually requires students to have an anonymous outlet to report incidents, so by introducing Safe Schools, the Richland School District is fulfilling this requirement.