Alma Schools Use New Technology to Combat Bullying

The Alma School District unveiled a new plan Monday (Feb. 17) to ensure the safety of their students.

It’s a new technology known as TipTxt. Anyone can send a tip about bullying through something as quick as a text message. The Alma School District said the program could help save lives.

“This has been in the works for several months,” said Alma Middle School principal Bob Wolfe.

Wolfe said if a parent or student sees anything from bullying to vandalism at school, they send a text to the school’s TipTxt number. That message then is sent to an account monitored by school administration, and from there they will continue the conversation if needed.

“I think it’s a great thing to offer the parents and to the students,” said parent Kim Williams.

Wolfe said tips are anonymous.

“If you’re not comfortable or a little afraid of retaliation, then this is a discreet way of contacting an administrator and letting them know what’s going on,” Wolfe said.

The school district said the software is free to them, and the cell phone line is costing the school $250 annually. That money is being pulled from the school district’s budget.

“I don’t think texting would work,” said Delores Gregory.

Gregory has a granddaughter at the Alma Middle School.

“I think its got a more personal level to it, and I think that would be more affective,” said Gregory.

Gregory said bullying needs to be addressed face to face. Wolfe said they have plans set in place to ensure the new system isn’t abused.

“It’s not something we abuse,” he said. “Not for complaints, I don’t like this teacher, I don’t like this class. It’s about safety issues in the school.”

The program will only be monitored during normal school hours.

The Alma School District said they are the first school in the region to use the new technology.

There are two administrators monitoring the tip line at the middle school and three at the high school.

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