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School Tip Line Toolkit - A Blueprint for Implementation and Sustainability

NCJ Number
Date Published
21 pages

This guide intends to help stakeholders develop and sustain tip lines as part of a comprehensive school safety strategy.


A school safety tip line is a communication system that provides students, school personnel, and members of the public with a safe and anonymous or confidential way to report a threat or potential threat to student or school safety. Tip lines are a relatively low-cost way to collect confidential information from students, who may be the most knowledgeable source of potential threats to school safety. Tip lines can be a source of information on a range of school-related problems, including bullying and self-harm. Successful tip lines require coordination and buy-in from multiple stakeholders across various disciplines. Tip line technology, along with other efforts to promote school safety, involve various relevant stakeholders, including school personnel, parents, students, law enforcement agencies, and social service providers. Convening a School Safety Tip Line task force, commission, or advisory group can formalize stakeholder roles and increase group commitment and cohesion over time. A tip line website can be a key information hub for partners. Critical information must be circulated on how to access the tip line, what to report, and the collection of key data on tip line use and outcomes. This report provides access to existing examples of state-based tip line websites. Sections of this report discuss marketing and outreach, information reception, information access and triage, and training. Also discussed are recording information, archiving and maintenance so as to comply with federal and state privacy laws, dissemination and reporting, securing funding, managing costs to achieve returns on investment, and potential risks. 2 figures

Date Published: January 1, 2018