Central Indiana Schools encourage students to speak out when there’s a problem at school

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Central Indiana School districts say their students are the first line of defense in keeping their schools safe.

Districts like Lawrence Township, IPS and Hamilton Southeastern all have programs in place that encourage students to tell someone when they suspect trouble or hear someone say something that could be dangerous.

Schools use text messages, phone numbers and emails to make reaching out about a problem convenient and even anonymous for student.

“If something is wrong tell someone, Text-A-Tip if it’s wrong, get the word out,” said Michael Beresford with Hamilton Southeastern Schools.

“We have everything from anonymous phone lines that you can text or call to leave information and the principals will follow-up. We have resource officers that are working at our secondary schools, middle and high, and the biggest job they do is build that relationship,” said Mary Louise Bewley, Spokeswoman for MSD of Lawrence Township.

Bewley said students are the best resource when it comes to keeping schools safe.

“It’s not snitching if you’re saying to us information that’s going to keep the school safe and you safe,” said Bewley. “We talk to the kids all the time about the right thing to do is to step forward and say when something is not right at the school.”

Schools can provide parents with resources on how to talk with their child if they are having a problem at school or if they are noticing a difference in their child’s behavior.

Dr. Muhammad Munir is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. He says raising a health child begins at home.

“We do not have to wait for incidents to happen. All of us, as a society and as parents, have to take care of our kids and not wait for unfortunate times to help a child.”

Munir said an open communication with your child is the best way to avoid a potential problem in the future.

“If you are a little observant, you will be the first to know that something is not right.”