The Cy-Fair Tipline is an anonymous reporting system that allows students and parents to communicate school concerns or threats to their campus administration through the internet or via text messaging. Students and parents are able to submit reports/tips via text or email anonymously 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This system was implemented to all CFISD schools 10 years ago, although the reporting service has changed once during that time. Several questions come to mind when considering the impact the tipline has truly had on our school and others. How effective is this really? Is it actively helping students? Should the tipline system continue?
To determine this answer, we must consider both pros and cons that this system has had ever since being implemented. When it was first announced that this was to be used to voice concerns of parents and students alike, CFISD staff may not have expected the amount of trolling they would receive due to it.
Sure, it is to be expected that with thousands of young kids, it is evident that some will use it as an experimental “joke.” However, students have been using the tipline as a threat and abusing the power of it nonstop.
“I haven’t done the math on what is false vs what a student believes to be true but isn’t vs tips that reside outside our authority (teenagers driving too fast in the neighborhood during the weekend) vs tips that are actually honest and relevant. However, I’d say that maybe 10% of our tips are legitimate,” says Associate Principal, Jason Tullos.
Students have been caught countless times submitting something that is not to be taken seriously. One can only imagine the vastness of how many of these fake tips CFISD must be having to deal with.
The “jokes” that students have been submitting takes away from serious matters that the district actually needs to focus on and blocks the crucial tips from receiving attention. These fake tips have gone on for too long and it wastes the time of staff members that actually have to look into the situation and double check to make sure nothing is wrong.
While the tipline has indeed caused problems for the people that have to look into every situation, it is still very beneficial to students. The reason CFISD implemented it to began with is so the safety of students can be addressed. There are students out there that are dealing with harassment and truly need help, or someone could have heard another student threaten to endanger the school. In those cases, the tipline is beyond helpful and it has the opportunity to save the lives of many students.
“Much of what we investigate turns out not to be true and is a waste of time. With that being said, it has been very helpful at times. We have found drugs, contraband, alcohol and vapes and removed those items from our campus, which makes us all safer. School administrators have been able to intervene on behalf of students who were found on the lower end of a power imbalance, and and we’ve been able to identify and help students who were suffering from depression, anxiety and suicide ideation. If we can save one life or help just one student out of 50 tips, it’s still worth it to all of us,” says Mr. Tullos.
Overall, the tipline has it’s pros and cons that make it the way it is. In one aspect, the tipline has been abused too often. But on the other end, the tipline could help students or even parents that truly need it.
To access our tipline, click here.