How does the hotline program work?

Trained dispatchers interview students and concerned citizens about school violence threats or incidents and enter the information into a centralized database. The dispatchers immediately call the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction and the local school district. The report is forwarded by fax or e–mail and the dispatchers confirm that the report was received. Local officials can conduct a joint investigation or handle the concern separately depending on local protocols. Some communities prefer to bring together their risk assessment team to conduct a collaborative investigation.

Do local officials follow–up with the hotline dispatcher?

Local officials are not required to call back the hotline staff. The hotline dispatchers will contact the local officials in 30 days for a follow-up survey.

Surveys may be completed online:

How do schools promote the hotline number?

Local schools and law enforcement agencies may order in–stock promotional items FREE OF CHARGE including pencils, wallet cards, and magnets. There is an easy online order form or orders can be made by calling the toll–free hotline number at 1-866-748-7047.

Schools can also download posters and graphics from the hotline’s website. The hotline’s phone number should be listed in student handbooks, school calendars, and on the local school’s website in order to spread the word in the community. School officials can schedule staff trainings or pass out promotional items during parents night or other school safety assemblies.

How does the hotline help prevent school violence?

Students are empowered with an anonymous means to report school violence. Based on research from the U.S. Secret Service, in 81% of school shootings the attackers told other students about their plans beforehand. When agencies collaborate on school violence, they can identify youth at risk and assess the needs of the youth. Establishing a resource for students to report threats and school safety concerns anonymously will encourage youth to come forward with life–saving information that students may have otherwise kept to themselves.

How successful has the hotline program been in preventing school violence?

On average, SVH hears from nearly 1,000 parents, school personnel, students, relatives, neighbors, concerned citizens, or people who wished to remain anonymous each year. This allows the SVH to alert school officials and law enforcement to reports of:

  • Bullying
  • Assault
  • Threats
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Weapons
  • Self-harming behavior

When surveyed, school officials and law enforcement agencies reported that the school violence hotline is a useful service.