School Tip Lines Were Meant to Stop Shootings, but Uncovered a Teen Suicide Crisis
February 21, 2020
Initially set up to prevent school shootings, anonymous tip lines across the U.S. are now helping to address student suicide. More than 10 states have established anonymous reporting systems to collect information on school safety threats so officials can intervene before a shooting occurs. However, many of those systems have received far more reports of students self-harming than posing a risk to others. For example, since the SafeOregon tip line launched in 2017, it has received 540 reports of a suicidal student, compared to 278 reports of a threat to a school. According to Oregon officials, reports to the tip line may have helped prevent multiple suicides. State reporting systems allow students to report concerns discreetly via text, which some say is what makes them so effective.
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