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Mishawaka schools adding anonymous tips line to keep students safe

WSBT 22 photo

The goal is to keep kids safe, and the Mishawaka School Board is taking measures to do just that.

All Mishawaka Schools will now be partnering with Security Voice, an anonymous tip line.

It's easy, if a student has a concern, they can either text, call, email or use the app.

One board member said this isn't just a great idea, it's essential to keep our students safe.

From elementary to high school, all students will soon have a way to get help anonymously.

Ken Kahlenbeck, Mishawaka assistant director of operations, says it will help combat threats, bullying or kids who are considering self harm.

“A lot of time their friends know,” said Kahlenbeck. “They may want to help, don’t know how to help. They try to talk to the individual themselves. Try to be there for a friend, but I think if there is an avenue for them to get that information to someone that can truly help.”

The tip line will also have 24/7 counselors.

“May not even be a threat, just maybe some issues personally they want to talk to someone about, they have access to talk to someone.”

High school teacher Ben Modlin helped the students, but says this was their idea.

“All of the school tragedies that we have had across the nation, the students saw a need and saw a gap,” said Modlin.

He says they put together a survey to find out who would use it and what concerns they have.

Kahlenbeck says in the past tips could come in too late.

The app will now alert police or medics in emergency situations, or allow schools to get ahead of potential problems.

“If something happens over the weekend and something is being said that maybe is happening on Monday, we can’t wait until Monday to address that.”

Throughout the year, the app records all the calls and breaks them down into categories.

“Say for instance we’re having many bullying reports, but we’re not having many fight reports. So we can try to focus on certain areas,” said Kahlenbeck.

Modlin says with the app will improve student safety.

“It’s what they want and it what we need. And a lot of times we can get a little disconnected from what the students need, especially with safety.”

Penn schools also use this tip line.

Kahlenbeck says the next step will be to make sure every student knows if they need help, it's one text or call away.

Parents and teachers can also use this.

Numbers:

800-4-1-VOICE ext. 359

800-418-6423 ext. 359

Link: https://www.safeschoolhelpline.com/

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