Starting the first day of school in Boston, students and parents can send a text message to 617-765-7125 to report concerns about school bullying or student safety.
The Boston Public Schools (BPS) Prevention Hotline is an automated system that will ask questions about the initial report to gather more information and then alert BPS bullying prevention experts, who can then engage with students to help.
“There is nothing more important than making sure students are safe in school, and we are proud to add new ways for our students and parents to join this effort,” said Mayor Menino via press release. “Our anti-bullying hotline has helped keep students safe and this new technology lets us stay many steps ahead of anyone who would want to do our children harm. We hope every student and parent programs these numbers into their phones.”
Schools officials said by Uusing TipTxt, students can feel safe informing safety teams about issues confidentially without the fear of retaliation, or embarrassment they may feel talking to someone in person. This platform adds to the existing BPS Bullying Prevention Hotline, at 617-592-2378, which is a hotline to speak to a live operator, or a voicemail system checked several times a day.
In the last two years more than 350 people have called the hotline, of which the the BPS Counseling and Intervention team follows up on reports.
“Students might be more comfortable sending us a text message than making a phone call if they see bullying happen in a hallway or on a school bus,” said BPS Interim Superintendent John McDonough. “We want to help them report concerns quickly, confidentially and in a way they know will get results. TipTxt allows them to do just that.”