Serious appreciation and compliments to Jefferson County Public Schools for creating a tipline where children and parents can report incidents of bullying. With recent reports of students committing suicide in the wake of bullying and the rise of bullying via social media, it’s an appropriate and much needed service.
As JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens rightly noted, “Children can only focus on learning when they feel safe, cared for, and protected from unacceptable behavior by their classmates.” The tipline, while no guarantee of safety, provides some protections and is a step in the right direction.
Reports can be called in at 888-393-6780 or reported online at jcps.me/bully, and can be anonymous, and officials assure the public that tips will be addressed within a week of the report.
Reporting individuals receive a “report key” they can use, along with a personal password, to submit more information later and to answer follow up questions.
Live operators staff the bullying tipline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but to ensure a fast and potentially lifesaving response, reports of immediate threats should continue to be called in to 911.
Too often, student victims of bullying keep it secret because they feel ashamed, they feel helpless or they fear retaliation if they report the behavior. The tipline reinforces to students they don’t have to tolerate or deal with bullying, that they can report bullies and their behavior. Or that if they know someone who is being bullied – a friend or classmate, that they can do something to protect that student and prevent future bullying.
Good move, JCPS!