New Scholastic TIPS Hotline empowers Kansas City students to fight school violence

So far in 2023, there have been 58 school shootings across the United States.

Oliver Hale

A program in Kansas City is now providing students with a tool to take control, track crime, and combat violence.

Once considered an anomaly, incidents of violence within schools are becoming alarmingly frequent. While the crimes themselves dominate headlines, crucial warning signs often remain hidden in the hallways.

The U.S. Secret Service has revealed a troubling statistic: in 81% of school violence cases, at least one student had knowledge of the violent plans but chose to remain silent.

Enter the Scholastic Tips Hotline, a lifeline for students to confidentially report potentially dangerous information to authorities.

“You never want to be labelled a snitch,” said Xavier May, who is helping establish the Scholastic Tips Hotline at Pembroke Hill. “That’s the biggest thing as a teenager. so being able to say something without being identified is very important.”

The anonymity it offers is a significant selling point.

“Not having to talk to someone face to face but online without having that judgement aspect I feel is an incentive for students to communicate the problems that are going on within the community,” May said.

The impact of the hotline is already being felt in the area.

An anonymous tip from a student in April alerted officials to a mass shooting plot at a Kansas school, thwarting the plan before it could be carried out.

Kansas City police detective Christina Ludwig heads the Scholastic Tips Hotline, which has now been implemented in close to 100 middle and high schools in the metro area.

“I can’t talk about it, but I do know the information was substantiated and therefore the police department and the school administrators were able to intervene. Which, thank God,” she said.

Paul Schlimm, the Director of Operations at Pembroke Hill, said he believes the program will help with safety.

He believes in getting every student to buy into how the hotline works.

Pembroke Hill, which has had no incidents of violence or threats of violence, hopes that the addition of the Scholastic Tips Hotline will offer yet another avenue for students to report concerns.

Originally published on KCBM News 9


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