Portal Streamlines Reporting of School Threats

The SafeSchools Alerts website allows anyone to report a potential threat anonymously to Washington’s Moses Lake School District officials via text, email or Web form.

by Charles H. Featherstone, Columbia Basin Herald / April 17, 2018

(TNS) — MOSES LAKE, Wash. — The Moses Lake School District now has a new way to anonymously report threats, harassment or safety concerns.

The SafeSchools Alert website allows anyone to send a text message, e-mail, make a phone call, or submit a web page form, directly to district officials.

“It’s a pretty neat program,” said Molly Kisler, a human resource specialist with the district. “There’s a website to post on our Facebook page or website, and you can choose to be anonymous or not.”

“There are a lot of options,” Kisler added.

The alert webpage, which can be reached by a link on the district’s web site, was created by the district’s insurer, Clear Risk Solutions, which oversees and administers the School Insurance Association of Washington, and is free to the district.

“No matter how you send in a tip or a message it will get through to administration,” said McKenna Reis, communications director for the district. “We have a team to deal with this.”

Reis and Kisler said district officials tested the system on Thursday and tips and messages quickly got in to district team members.

“We all get an alert,” Reis said.

“We’ve used it for testing purposed, but we’ve not gotten any tips,” Kisler said on Friday. “It’s a good day.”

At a regular school board meeting Thursday, Board Member Elliott Goodrich wondered if the district would consider signing on to an app-based solution such as the one proposed by Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg.

“This is available everywhere to everyone,” Superintendent Josh Meek said.

However, Goodrich wondered if using all the steps involved in navigating a website would take too much time or deter people from making reports. Meek said the district would look at an app if the web site was not as effective as it could be.

“It’s designed to be very, very simple,” he said.

©2018 the Columbia Basin Herald, Wash. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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