SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Increasing school safety is top of mind for many parents recently and one local school district is using the summer months to put in a new feature to help protect your kids next school year.
Our schools have been using the ‘see something say something’ practice for a while now, but with a new 24-hour, anonymous tip line, Siloam Springs Schools is making it even easier for students, staff, and anyone in our area to report any potential threats.
Siloam Springs parents like, Fares Trinidad, send their kids to school each day with a lot of trust in their teachers who already have their hands full with lesson plans, and are having to learn active shooter protocols and how to keep the kids safe in all situations.
“Unfortunately with how the world works it’s just hard to put the responsibility on other folks to take care of our kids,” Trinidad said.
Shane Patrick, the Assistant Superintendent for Siloam Springs Schools said people can report anything from a possible gunman, sexual harassment and bullying, to someone smoking in the bathroom.
“The number one thing that protects schools that we’ve learned from years and years of research is knowing about something before it happens,” Patrick said.
Tips can come in through phone calls or an online form that’ll be monitored through a third-party company which will then send the information to the right school building or even the police.
Since everyone in the community is encouraged to use it, there’s a possibility of it being abused, but that’s not something Patrick is concerned with.
“We’ll always have something, but I’d rather deal with that than not know about something that might help protect our staff and students,” Patrick said.
The district moved around some of its funds to pay for the tip line and Patrick says there’s no price tag on their kid’s safety. Systems like this are giving parents like Trinidad peace of mind.
“It just makes us feel at ease that they’re going to a safe environment and that we have the ability to communicate with the schools,” Trinidad said.
Patrick said the district’s biggest fear is losing students or staff.
Other school districts with similar tip lines include Springdale, Bentonville and Gentry.