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Saratoga schools launch 'safe school helpline'

Saratoga schools launch 'safe school helpline'

Residents can report suspicious or troubling behavior anonymously
Saratoga schools launch 'safe school helpline'
Photographer: Gazette File Photo

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The City School District on Tuesday launched a "safe school helpline" intended to allow students, staff and community members to anonymously report suspicious activity or behavior of concern.

The safety helpline can be used to report information about threats against schools, bullying, drugs, theft and thoughts of suicide.

"Safety is the underlying theme of everything that we do as a school district, and we thank you for your continued support," district officials wrote in a message announcing the new services.

The safety helpline, managed by a private company, enables people to report safety and other concerns by phone, text or through an online reporting site.

Trained counselors are also available through the service to talk with people dealing with suicidal thoughts and depression.

The Saratoga Springs school district has been deeply divided over safety concerns since the board moved last year to not authorize district-employed grounds monitors to carry firearms on school grounds. That decision prompted backlash from parents concerned that the decision reduced school safety. Others argued against arming the monitors.

Ultimately, two out of three of the district's newly-elected school board members opposed arming monitors, so grounds monitors continue to be unarmed.  

Here's how to make a report with the new system:

- Call 800-418-6423

- Text TIPS to 66746

- File an online report at www.safeschoolhelpline.com

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