Van Wert City Schools has recently partnered with Safe School Helpline®, a 24/7 confidential communication service where students, parents, and community members can report violence, harassment, and other school safety concerns. Every student will be given an envelope to take home to their parents/guardians on Friday, January 11 containing an introductory letter, a detailed brochure, and a magnet with all contact information for Safe School Helpline®.
Whether students fear being labeled a “snitch” or a community member worries about retaliation, Safe School Helpline® is designed to allow anyone to anonymously report threats of violence, weapons, drugs and alcohol, bullying, theft, sexual harassment, and even thoughts of self-harm or suicide specific to Van Wert City Schools and its students. Those wishing to make a report are encouraged to call 1-800-4-1-VOICE, ext. 359 (418-6423) where they can leave a message. That message is then transcribed and routed to the appropriate school administrator(s) who will take action based on the content of the message. A case number is assigned to each message so those making a report can be reached if additional information is necessary, or they may edit the details provided if more information become known. School officials stress that if a student is troubled and threatening self-harm, please encourage them to call the helpline and that call will be routed to a Counseling and Crisis Center that provides 24-hour intervention, 365 days a year.
Safe School Helpline® realizes the importance of convenience so in addition to the toll-free number, individuals may text 66746 then type TIPS. A link is also available online where reports can be made. Look for the button called Safe School Helpline® at www.vwcs.net. Lastly, the Safe School Helpline® app is available on both Android and Apple phones.
"The safety of our students and staff continues to be the highest priority for Van Wert City Schools," stated Vicki Brunn, Superintendent of Van Wert City Schools. “We are always looking for ways to improve in this area.” By partnering with Safe School Helpline®, VWCS hopes to provide students, parents, and our community members with a safe place to report threatening behavior and activities that may go unreported otherwise.