By Kaitlyn B.
A new resource for Duxbury students has emerged. At the school, something called TipNow has become available as a platform to anonymously report bullying, health issues, drugs, and other school-wide conflicts. This resource hopes to improve safety and take precautions against any potential problems.
The recurring cost of TipNow is $3,000 a year, and it is entirely funded by the school district.
Principal of Duxbury High School, James Donovan stated, “We have begun to utilize the TipNow platform.” He explained, “It had been an ongoing conversation for years, about looking for different types of platforms to use. Platforms like these are more common in higher education, and high schools are beginning to adopt them as well.
Tips can be submitted through the phone application TipNow, on their website, or even through something as simple as text message.
So far, the application has had a good outcome. Principal Donovan explained, “There has been some stuff that has come through so far. There was a concern about doors that may not be locked during the school day, there was a concern about vaping in the bathroom, just general things.”
Once an anonymous tip is received, it is sent forward to building level administrators which then move it to the next person responsible, depending on what the tip is for. Then, steps are taken as a response to the concern that had been raised.
Donovan said, “I really want students to feel as though they have the ability to report things and that it is as accessible as it can possibly be. It’s kind of the see-something-say-something mindset. We want it to be as accessible as possible. That is really what we’re looking for and that’s what we’re hoping students use it for.”
A senior at Duxbury High school, Ava B., felt that the use of the phone app was definitely vital to the platform’s success. She said, “I feel like it’s very easily accessible and it would be quick to use. If someone saw something happening, they could just take out their phone and report it anonymously.”
Though there are great benefits to this program, there were some concerns as well.
Donovan said, “The most important [concern] is that people remember to use it, that when they are uncomfortable they remember it is an option they have. That’s why we’ve hung posters up around the building.” He said, “People can get a QR code and download the app, and the number to text is there on the website. That information is all there. Our former way to report was just to walk in the door, and that discouraged people.”
Student at Duxbury High School, Harry W. said, “I do think everybody knows about it, but I don’t think anybody wants to use it. Kids don’t want to be responsible for the downfall of their peers.” He feels that this responsibility to monitor other students will deter people from using it.
Though, to the contentment of others, the anonymous nature of this app makes it appeal much more.
“I think it’s a good thing for the school to have, because people are usually scared to come forward and have the responsibility put in their name.” Ava said, “If it’s anonymous I feel like people will do it, since it’s not really affecting them in any way, just helping people positively.”
So far, the TipNow platform has proven useful for a number of students, and over time it should continue as students grow more comfortable and conscious of it.