Northumberland County Public Schools has added a new communications tool called Anonymous Alerts®, allowing its students to anonymously report information to school officials across their school campuses. The system encourages students, parents and staff to confidentially report bullying, gang-related issues and other sensitive topics through private messages sent on their mobile and computer Internet-enabled devices. Northumberland County Public Schools is the first district in Virginia that has adopted the Anonymous Alerts® confidential and anonymous student reporting service.
"Our top priorities are student achievement and school safety. Bullying has an adverse effect on students and has the potential to limit student performance in the classroom,” said Dr. Rebecca Gates. “We are excited at Northumberland County Public Schools to launch Anonymous Alerts® which will help students to establish an anonymous 2-way dialogue with school officials while protecting their identity from retaliation by other peers,” said Becca H. Sterrett, School Psychologist.
In addition to Web-based reporting, Northumberland County Public Schools has also turned on Anonymous Alerts® customized iPhone and Android apps. Students, parents and staff can download the apps for free and enable them with a simple code for quick reporting to school officials. The mobile apps and Web-based reporting system provides secure 1-way or 2-way encrypted messages, increasing the flow of urgent information to school officials. Message topics for submission may include student bullying, cyberbullying, family difficulties, self-harm/cutting, drug and alcohol abuse, student depression, sexual harassment, gang-related issues or unusual student behavior.
Anyone wishing to submit information anonymously can visit Northumberland County Public Schools website at www.nucps.net using any Internet-enabled device and by clicking on the “Anonymous Alerts button or text link” to send a report. The Anonymous Alerts® mobile applications can be downloaded directly from the iPhone app store and the Android app from Google Play store. Students are supplied a simple login and password from the district to activate the mobile apps, displayed on posters throughout the district. All reports remain anonymous, although submitters have the option to reveal their identity if they prefer to have a person-to-person discussion.