IWCS launches online tool for reporting bullying, threats
Published 2:32 pm Friday, December 9, 2022
Isle of Wight County Schools has launched “ISLE Be Safe,” an online anonymous reporting tool that allows students, parents, employees or other county residents to notify school officials of incidents that may pose danger to a specific student or a school.
Each of the county’s nine public schools now has a link to the online form listed under the “quick links” section on the school’s website. Tipsters can also access the form by going to https://www.iwcs.k12.va.us/apps/pages/be_safe and selecting the school where the incident occurred. School counselors and administrators will receive a copy of the completed online form and will follow up.
Each school’s form includes required fields where the tipster must either name or describe the person they are reporting, and choose from a checklist of concerns. Checklist options include “I think the person is a victim of bullying and/or cyber-bullying,” “I think the person is bullying/cyber-bullying others,” “This person is threatening to hurt him/herself,” “This person is threatening to hurt someone else,” “I think this person has a weapon at school,” “I think this person is involved with a gang,” “I think this person is using or selling drugs or alcohol” or “other.”
The ISLE Be Safe system is not a 24-hour crisis hotline and will be monitored only on school days during school hours. The school system advises tipsters to call 911 if the issue requires immediate assistance.
False reporting “will be taken seriously to the full extent of the law,” the ISLE Be Safe system warns.
The tipster must identify as an IWCS student, parent, guardian, employee or community member. Tipsters have the option of providing their name and contact information if they wish to receive a response from the school system, or hiding their contact information and remaining anonymous.
The ISLE Be Safe concept, according to IWCS spokeswoman Lynn Briggs, originated when School Board members John Collick and Vice Chairman Michael Cunningham, along with Director of Support Services Todd Christiansen, attended the 2022 National Threat Assessment Conference for Educational Institutions in Virginia Beach in October. The conference emphasized the importance of schools having an anonymous online reporting system as a layer of security and primary preventative measure against threats.
“We know students can’t learn if they don’t feel safe,” said Superintendent Dr. Theo Cramer. “The ISLE Be Safe platform provides an outlet for anyone to share concerns in order for the division to be proactive in keeping all students and staff safe from threats.”