Text-a-Tip, an anonymous source for students, has been around since 2011. They can report anything from criminal activity to bullying.
“By doing this, we’ve given them an opportunity if they see something they think is wrong that they want to report but want to remain anonymous. It gives them a way to be able to do that,” said Preston McKay, a school resource officer.
Each school has their own personalized email that acts as the text a tip line. But it’s not used as frequently as Officer McKay likes.
He says, “We put out the information to let these kids know that this option is there for them if they choose to use it, but whether or not they do or do not is, you know, going to be on them.”
Officer McKay says since its inception 6 years ago, there have been 627 texts sent across all of the middle and high schools.One Junior at Bismarck High first heard about Text a Tip in middle school and thinks it a great idea.
“Sometimes it’s joked about, but people actually use it. And, so, it’s actually, we actually like it. So, it’s a great thing that we have. It’s a good source,” said Junior Mikayla Otterness.
Mikayla has never had to use it, but has friends who have.There have been times where it was the main source for information to law enforcement.
McKay added, “A student had reported some concern they had and he overheard something about a bomb in one of the schools. Well, that student look the right initiative and texted and we were able to bascially investigate that.”
Most of the texts that are received are along the lines of bullying that is taken care of by school administration.