A few key strokes and mouse clicks on your computer can help in the effort to reduce violence in Missouri schools. The Missouri School Violence Hotline Web site at http://schoolviolencehotline.com/ now includes "Report It!," an electronic form that makes it easy to submit e-mail reports about school violence.
The "Report It!" form contains 10 questions those reporting abuse can use to provide details on the locations, participants and other facts regarding acts and threats of violence. Reports can be submitted anonymously. The information is monitored by the School Violence Hotline staff who forward the details to school and law enforcement officials.
"We've activated the 'Report It!' form at a critical time of the year," said School Violence Hotline Supervisor Jennifer Hunter. "Often there is an increase in school violence during the months of April and May. We are optimistic that the 'Report It!' form and the toll-free school violence hotline will encourage more Missourians to report information about violence in the schools."
Since October 2001, the hotline at 866-748-7047 has been available to take anonymous phone tips regarding school violence. Missourians can report incidents of bullying, assaults or fights, thefts, weapons at school, bomb threats and other dangers. The SVH operates weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. All information received by the hotline is entered into a central database and immediately relayed by phone and fax, or e-mail to the law enforcement agency and school district where the incident or threat of violence took place. The School Violence Hotline serves all Missouri elementary and secondary schools.
The School Violence Hotline Web site also provides resources to help schools combat violence.
School administrators can receive free pencils, magnets, posters and other promotional materials that can enable students to use the hotline to provide potentially lifesaving information without fear of repercussions.
The hotline program is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Missouri Department of Public Safety and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. For more information about the School Violence Hotline contact: Jennifer L. Hunter, School Violence Hotline Supervisor, Department of Social Services-Children's Division, P.O. Box 88, Jefferson City, MO, or call 573-522-9802.