In order to reach teens in the way they communicate, the Douglas County Sheriffs Office in Colorado has teamed up with the Douglas County Schools for a pilot program called “Text-A-Tip”. This program involves high school student talking to their school administrators and police in the form of texting. High school students can anonymously report anything from a fight, a suspicious person on school property, to a friend in trouble.
Police believe that using texting is a great way for teens directly and instantly provide tips in an emergency situation. Authorities will text back and forth with the teens to get more information and to help then instantly. In this way, kids can feel comfortable communicating with school administrators and police while staying anonymous.
However, some teens say they may not want to do that because it is another form of snitching on their peers and believe that they can handle the situation themselves. What teens need to understand is that sometimes they can’t handle the situation and need an adult or police intervention. How do you stop a friend who may be doing drugs? How do you help a friend who is depressed or suicidal? This is where adults need to intervene. Through texting offers another avenue to help their friends.
Parents should encourage their teens to work with school administrators as well as police by using the Text-A-Tip program. It just may save a life.