Bradley County Schools Launch TIPS Safety Platform

The Bradley County Schools system has implemented a new program to help keep children safe.

TIPS: Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services is a web-based risk management and incident reporting platform from Awareity, designed to identify, prevent and intervene in threatening behaviors.

TIPS provides an avenue for students, parents, staff and community members to report disconcerting behaviors, suspicious incidents, or general safety/security concerns to school staff and the school resource officer, or SRO. Reporting may be made anonymously or openly.

Concerns which may be reported include, but are not limited to, bullying, cyber-bullying, weapons, drug/alcohol use, vandalism of school property, threats of violence, suicide risk, sexual harassment, abuse and truancy.

"TIPS is a tool to be utilized by school administrators and law enforcement to increase awareness of student safety and concerning behaviors within our schools," said Scotty Hernandez, safety and security coordinator. "This tool has the potential to detect, deter, and disrupt unwanted behavior or criminal activity."

Funding for TIPS in Bradley County Schools is through a Safe Schools grant. "We strive to provide a safe learning environment for all Bradley County students," Bradley County Schools Director Johnny McDaniel said.

Reports made through TIPS will be reviewed by administrators at the particular school and by the SRO, if warranted. Reports can also be shared with SROs at other school locations in the event of bullying between students at different schools, harassment on the bus, etc. Since its implementation, the SROs have taken advantage of TIPS to keep track of over 400 reports, ranging from daily log activities, custody issues, and juvenile citations to teaching "DARE"; and making arrests.

TIPS allows school administrators and safety team members to investigate and coordinate actions and share information during investigation, intervention, and prevention efforts.