Anonymous Alerts: Newest edition to school security


Anonymous alerts are one of the newest additions to the 2017-2018 school year at DGS. Students can use the alerts to anonymously send in tips or reports of concerns they have around school or anything they want to be brought to the administration’s attention without giving up their identity.  Assistant Principal Vince Walsh-Rock said that when an alert is sent, he receives them along with Associate Principal Karen Taylor and Principal Ed Schwartz.

Anonymous Alerts is a replacement for the bullying tip line that the school used for the past 10 years. “We got very few correspondents through that tipline… Considering what we’d do differently, we learned about a company called Anonymous Alerts that allowed us to do more than just identify bullying in the school but other issues as well,” Walsh-Rock said.

The district saw it as a necessary step because as the use of technology and social media grows, so does the risk of cyberbullying.

“With cyberbullying, often times students become aware of things that are happening to other students and they just don’t know what to do with the information. And unless we know about it, we can’t really intervene. I think sometimes people just assume we know things, and often times we don’t,” Walsh-Rock said.

DGS students say they find it useful because it can be used for more than just reports of bullying. Junior Isaac Rutledge thinks it can be a good way to help your friends out if they appear to be struggling with an issue. “[It can be used] when your friend is going through something and you don’t want your friend to know that it was you who said that or alerted someone about it,” Rutledge said.

Walsh-Rock also addressed the potential of students using the alert system inappropriately, as a way to “try to get somebody.” However, they haven’t seen any alerts of that sort, and he said he is glad about that.

“The intention is not about to get people in trouble. It’s never about that. It’s more about identifying students we need to help,” Walsh-Rock said.

Senior Myles Henderson believes this is a positive change for the district; however, he believes many students don’t seek help often enough. “The reason people don’t report things [even] anonymously is that they just want to handle things on their own. [Because] they want to be independent… But it’s probably best to ask for help because some things are just better done with other people,” Henderson said.