Students can now text crime tips at Penn Harris Madison - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Students can now text crime tips at Penn Harris Madison

PHM students can now text school about bullying, crime PHM students can now text school about bullying, crime
MISHAWAKA -  Local schools are equipping themselves with new resources to fight school crime. Penn Harris Madison school district is launching a new helpline that lets student and parents text, e-mail or call-in with tips.

"If you hear something, say something," said Penn Harris Madison School Safety Director Mike Seger. He hopes the new helpline will prevent active shooters, bullying, drug abuse and suicides.

Seger says the school already had an emergency hotline, but students preferred texting. That was certainly the case when we asked some of Penn High's color guard team which method they would use. Students not only cared about how they could speak with administration, but also about whether or not it was private.

According to a U.S. Department of Education study, in about 80  percent of active shooter situations, at least one, if not two, people knew ahead of time - but didn't tell anyone. That's why Seger chose a third-party to respond to calls and messages. That way - sources remain completely anonymous

"It is absolutely crucial that we provide some avenue for our staff, our students, and our parents to provide confidential information to our administration," said Seger.

"Then you can say it," said Katherine Iuston, 15, a color guard squad member. "And it wouldn't be like, oh she went in, so she's telling, and it's gonna be a snitch-type thing. So I'm glad that they're doing this anonymous thing."

Seger says PHM district parents can expect a pamphlet in the mail in the next few days, with more information on the helpline.

The Safe School Helpline (free and 24 hours/7 days a week)

Call:     1-800-4-1-VOICE ext. 359 (800-418-6423 ext. 359)
Text:     66746, then type TIPS

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