Students and Community Members Should Continue to Anonymously Report School Safety Concerns Such as Cyber Bullying or Students Struggling Emotionally During COVID-19 Crisis
Baltimore, MD – As a result of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic response, school buildings are largely empty, and schools have transitioned to online learning environments. With families isolated at home and students unable to physically attend school, Maryland students are facing new and diverse challenges. During this time, the Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line becomes an increasingly vital tool to ensure the safety and well-being of Maryland students.
Whether students are experiencing cyberbullying or are concerned about one or more students capable of self-harm or violence, the Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line, which is administered by MCSS, is anonymously accessible 24/7 by phone at 1-833-MD-B-SAFE (1-833-632-7233), online at safeschoolsmd.org, and by downloading the free app via the App Store or Google Play.
“As we implement our continuity of learning, the safety, health, and well-being of Maryland students remain the Maryland State Department of Education’s first priority,” said Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D., State Superintendent of Schools and Chair of the School Safety Subcabinet. “We encourage students and families to make use of the Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line, as well as the many emotional support and counseling resources available through each local school. To our students, please know that we are here for you during this very challenging time.”
“Though much has changed in recent weeks, the Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line remains available to anonymously report concerns regarding the safety and well-being of all Maryland’s students,” said Kate Hession, Executive Director of the Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS). MCSS provides grants and school safety training and support to public, non-public special education, and private schools throughout Maryland.
To increase awareness of the tip line during this difficult time, MCSS is also sharing a short public service announcement (PSA) acknowledging students still face numerous challenges, many of which they would normally share with teachers, staff members, or fellow students in-person at school. The full PSA can be viewed here.
“Student safety and student well-being are at the foundation of all that we do. It’s essential to remind students that they are not alone during this period and that we will get through this together,” added Hession.
The Maryland Center for School Safety is an independent unit within the State Department of Education. To provide a coordinated and comprehensive policy for school safety in Maryland, the Center collaborates with local school systems, law enforcement agencies, State and local government, community organizations, parents, and other groups. With those partners, the Center disseminates information on best practices, programs, and resources; provides grants, technical assistance, and training; collects, analyzes, and integrates Statewide data; and promotes interagency efforts to ensure safe schools.