COLUMBUS (WCMH) – After the recent school shooting in Florida, schools in our area are taking even more action to help safeguard their students.
Columbus City Schools is rolling out a new Safer Together program that utilizes a state-wide tip-line to report suspicious activity involving students or schools.
The tip-line is a multi-agency effort with Ohio Homeland Security, the Department of Education and local schools. The number to call or text is 844-SAFEROH (844-723-3764) and they hope you or your student will use it to “speak up and save lives”.
“It’s scary. It’s just scary,” said CCS parent Nichole Chenault.
She has children in middle and high school. The recent school shooting in Florida has been weighing on her mind.
But, she’s glad to hear students and community members can call this tip-line to report potential school shootings, bullying, suicides, bomb threats or any other problem that could harm a student or school.
“If it’s going to happen, if somebody knows that something like that’s going to happen that they can speak up and say, ‘hey this might happen’ or ‘just be cautious of it’,” said Chenault.
CCS interim superintendent Dr. John Stanford said they want students, parents and community members to know, if they see something, say something.
“If they see a fight or if they learn that there’s going to be a fight, if someone is contemplating suicide, they can use this hotline to communicate that information,” he said.
Executive director of the Center for P-20 Safety and SecurityKimberly Nagel said since the tip-line was created two years ago, it has already helped save lives.
“We’ve saved kids’ lives who were threatening suicide,” she said. “We’ve addressed bomb threat situations within our schools and we’ve addressed potential active shooter situations before that happened, so we’ve saved kids lives all across the state because of this tip line.”
Nagel said each tip is followed up as quickly as possible.
“If we don’t know about it we can’t do anything, so please report those tips to us,” she said.
The tip-line is free and open 24/7. Anyone can call or text to report an anonymous tip.