School Hotline Loses Funding, Schools Say No Warning - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

School Hotline Loses Funding, Schools Say No Warning

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The state hotline, SafeCall, allowing students to report violence is suffering from a bit of disconnect tonight.

The company that monitored the line, was fired when schools lost $250,000 in federal funding in 2011.  With only 600-calls a year, the proram stopped because of funding.

The State Department of Education says a worker took over the line, and started working with schools.  But Jenks Public Schools says they have not received a report since October, when the old service's owner sent a message about bullying he could not ignore.

We called the hotline and heard the recording and the prompts.

Since the change, schools are encouraging students to speak up and tell someone about troubles with or without the hotline.

A Jenks spokesperson says they wish they had been told earlier, so they could have made plans for safety.

"If they chose not to renew contract, districts all over the state had publicized that number. We needed some time to be able to put something else in place," said Bonnie Rogers, Jenks Public Schools.

Jenks says they could continue the program with the same company at a cost of $5,000 a year. However they say school funding is too low to pay for it now.

 

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