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Bonneville Joint School District 93’s new alert reporting system allows students to report incidents of bullying, harassments, self-harm or suicidal thoughts by texting “@GETHELP” to 855-528-0074.

A new reporting tool is allowing students at Bonneville Joint School District 93 to more easily report harassment, bullying or suicidal thoughts.

District Superintendent Scott Woolstenhulme said Tuesday during a Facebook monthly Superintendent Chat with D93 Families that the district developed its own help alert system this fall after the previous reporting system wasn’t able to be integrated to the district’s updated website.

“By designing our own, it gave us a few more ways we could provide students to be able to reach out and report incidents,” Woolstenhulme said to families.

Students can report incidents such as bullying, harassment, incidents of self-harm or suicidal thoughts, and sexual harassment by visiting www.d93.org/HelpAlert or by texting “@GETHELP” to 855-528-0074. Students may choose to remain anonymous if they prefer.

Since the alert system went live just over a month ago, the district has received more than 200 reported alerts, Woolstenhulme said during the chat. He noted some of the alerts don’t have complete information and students could be using the system to mess around or test it to see if it works.

“We certainly have received some great information from kids letting us know if they or somebody they know might be experiencing some of these challenges,” Woolstenhulme said during the chat.

Parents also can use the system if they have concerns about their child or their child doesn’t feel comfortable using the system, Woolstenhulme said in the chat.

The Idaho State Board of Education recommended a help alert system such as the one District 93 has implemented for all school districts in the state in a September report about the May 6 shooting incident at Rigby Middle School, where a 13-year-old student was taken into custody after the student shot and wounded two students and one staff member.

The report recommends schools inform students about the alert systems after it concluded new sixth-grade students at Rigby Middle School likely had little awareness of the school’s established confidential tip line and were unable to report concerning behaviors the student had displayed before the shooting. Woolstenhulme noted the district is publicizing this information at its schools for students to see.

Bonneville Education Association President and Ammon Elementary School teacher Misty Taylor said the alert system is beneficial for students who may feel afraid to directly reach out to a school official for help.

“It can be a scary thing to report bullying or thoughts about self-harm,” Taylor said. “This helps students feel a little safer about reporting so it’s an all-around good thing that we’ve got it.”

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