Scholastic Crime Stoppers saves lives
What is the Scholastic Program?
Over 30 years ago, Crime Stoppers in Boulder, CO started Scholastic Crime Stoppers in which a school or district provides a hotline for students to anonymously report school bases or related crimes like theft, vandalism, or assaults. Students were also able to anonymously report what they know about other students bringing drugs or weapons to school and about fights or other dangerous or illegal activity that someone may be planning to commit on the school campus. Since then schools all across America, including our own metro area, have created their own scholastic programs.
The number of schools participating in the Kansas City Crime Stoppers Scholastic TIPS Program has now reached over 70 and includes schools from both Kansas and Missouri.
The Scholastic program is patterned after Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline. The Crime Stoppers Scholastic program allows students to anonymously report crimes via the P3 TIPS app.
Examples of TIPS received:
Drugs on campus, weapons on campus, assault/fight or threat of a fight, bullying, underage alcohol parties, vandalism, suicide attempts, and even some school administrative issues
Each school program has the option to provide or not provide rewards for the valid information received. Rewards DO NOT have to be in cash. Gift cards, movie or event certificates, and/or special school privileges are another great option. Crime Stoppers will pay "up to $2,000" for felony crimes that are solved due to a scholastic tip.
Why do schools need a Crime Stoppers Program?
Look at past tragedies in schools. Might the existence of a Scholastic Crime Stoppers Hotline have prevented the incident?
With the Scholastic TIPS Program, School Resource Officers are able to quickly respond to threats and prevent tragedies from occurring. The Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Scholastic TIPS Program has prevented an astounding 18 suicides from occurring because fellow students have submitted anonymous tips. This invaluable program allows quick response and is actively saving the lives of young people in our community.
Why send in a TIP?
IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!
Submitting an anonymous TIP can mean everything to the victims of crime and plays an immeasurable role in making your school a safer place.
Peer pressure exists for students to NOT speak up about criminal activity. Remaining anonymous solves this problem.
One TIP can make all the difference, and nobody will ever know but you.
Just as crime can destroy a neighborhood, it can also destroy the quality of education.
A school that is proactive regarding crime is not only a safer school, but a better learning environment.
The signs are out there!
A March, 2021 U.S. Secret Service report titled, "Averting Targeted School Violence - 2021" specifically mentioned the benefit of Scholastic Crime Stoppers programs in both Kansas and Missouri.
In this report, James M. Murray, U.S. Secret Service Director, states, "Individuals contemplating violence often exhibit observable behaviors, and when community members report these behaviors, the next tragedy can be averted."
Findings from the most recent study by the U.S. Secret Service:
In nearly all (94%) of the cases, the plotters shared their intentions about carrying out an attack targeting the school.
Three-quarters (75%) of the plots (researched in the report) were detected solely because of what the plotters communicated about their intent.
In about two-fifths (43%) of the cases, others observed concerning communications about the plots, but did not take action to report the information.
Not including communications made specifically about their attack plots, three quarters of the plotters (74%) made some type of other written, visual, verbal, or online statements that were concerning.
Key Findings and Implications:
Students are best positioned to identify and report concerning behaviors displayed by their classmates.
Schools and communities must take tangible steps to facilitate student reporting when classmates observe threatening or concerning behaviors.