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:
- School shootings change both the lives of those directly affected and conversations about larger issues happening all over the country. In this audio gallery, people ranging from policy advocates to grieving teachers share how the Parkland school shooting has changed the debate and their own lives.
- Patrick Petty lost his sister Alaina in the Stoneman Douglas shooting, and he still attends school there. Hear how Petty, a “pro-2nd Amendment guy” who believes in listening to the other side, has grieved while the attack became central to the gun debate.
- Manuel Oliver lost his son Joaquin in the Parkland shooting. Watch how his creative approach to his activism for new gun laws puts his son front and center.
- Parkland victims’ families are pushing for accountability after they say local officials mishandled the shooting and the events that led up to it.
- A Columbine survivor is now a teacher in Aurora. After a mass shooting in a movie theater there, she founded an organization that supports mass shooting survivors. Here’s her advice for Parkland students, many of whom she’s befriended.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.