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States

Watch: A Year After Parkland Shooting, States Counting on Student Tips to Help Prevent School Violence

By Evie Blad — February 13, 2019 2 min read

The February 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., put a fresh focus on school violence prevention. After investigations into the gunman’s history flagged missed opportunities to intervene, states and schools around the country looked for new ways to encourage students to speak up and share concerns that classmates may harm themselves or others.

School violence reporting systems—tiplines and apps that allow students to anonymously report such issues to authorities—have experienced a new surge of interest in post-Parkland school safety debates.

Colorado started its statewide tip line after the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., 20 years ago. That program has since become a model for other states. Such efforts are anchored in a finding by the U.S. Secret Service that school shooters often “leak” their intentions beforehand. Sandy Hook Promise, a school violence prevention organization, has also launched a reporting system of its own, cooperating with schools and districts around the country.

The latest state to join this effort is Pennsylvania, where a new tip line has received thousands of reports in just the first month of operation. In this story produced for the PBS Newshour, Education Week takes a look at how the effort is going, concerns about such programs, and whether tiplines work.


Related reading on the Parkland school shooting anniversary:

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.