A lot of people are scared to talk about bullying or harassment. That’s where the Safe School Hotline comes in.
The hotline is a number to call for students, parents, staff and community members to report illegal actions.
Guidance counselor Mrs. Danielle McNelis said the hotline is one more tool keep students safe.
“We want students to feel comfortable in reporting concerns to us – whether that be in person or anonymously through the helpline,” she said.
The helpline has been around for a several years, but Mrs. McNelis said Bellwood has advocated using it “since March 2018 – around the same time that all other Blair county schools began to utilize it as well.”
The helpline is always anonymous.
“Everything through the helpline is controlled by an outside vendor, so we only receive the information that the person who makes the report choose to share. Even the responses back to the person have to go through the outside party, assuring anonymity,” said Mrs. McNelis.
After you call or text the message is forwarded to district administration. The administration then investigates the concern and follows up through the helpline so that the individual making the report knows is was addressed. In some cases, additional information may be needed but the communication continues to occur through the helpline.
Information about the Helpline has gotten around from flyers and magnet with information about the helpline that was distributed to each student during homeroom on the first day of school. It’s also accessible through the district website’s homepage. There is a Helpline app available on every student iPad.
Dr. Wagner, the middle school Principal, said that the School Helpline is just another layer of security.
“I think all the safety and security measures BASD has a implemented over the last few years provides for a safe environment,” he said.
So if you ever have a problem or a situation with anyone bullying you; if your friends are getting bullied; if you feel like harming yourself or others; or if you have a friend that is going to harm themselves or others, then contact the helpline at http://schoolhelpline.com/contact.htm or 800-325-4381.