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Laguna Beach school district encourages community to ‘See Something, Say Something’

Principal Jason Allemann, Supt.  Jason Viloria, school social worker Alex Wayne, and Michael Keller.
Principal Jason Allemann, Supt. Jason Viloria, school social worker Alex Wayne, and Michael Keller, LBUSD director of social and emotional support, stand next to a WeTip2.0 info poster at Laguna Beach High School on Tuesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Members of the Laguna Beach school community can now notify the proper authorities about campus concerns anonymously.

The Laguna Beach Unified School District this week launched “See Something, Say Something,” a WeTip2.0 reporting system that provides various paths for students, parents, staff and community members to come forward with complaints in a manner that is most comfortable to them.

Tips can be reported — in English or Spanish — via a dedicated district phone number 24 hours a day throughout the year. The number can be used for calls or texting. The person sending in the tip will be connected to a trained WeTip staff member, who will determine the appropriate response level and inform the corresponding agency.

Michael Keller, the district’s director of social emotional support, said a text-to-tip offering was made available in the district in 2014. He added that the new reporting system should help get information in a timely manner by removing students’ fear of being socially ostracized.

Michael Keller, LBUSD director of social emotional support, stands next to one of the WeTip2.0 info posters.
Michael Keller, LBUSD director of social emotional support, stands next to one of the WeTip2.0 info posters at Laguna Beach High School on Tuesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“They were just trying to find another vehicle for people to make anonymous tip reports, so that [text-to-tip] system is limited because when you text in a tip, you’re obviously disclosing your phone number, and so it’s not fully anonymous,” Keller said in a phone interview Monday. “The benefit of the new system is that you have this stronger opportunity to, if you are interested, to remain anonymous.

“There is even a feature with the new system where you can communicate via text messaging through the system, but it’s encrypted, so you can still remain anonymous, but there can still be two-way communication, so it’s actually encrypted through the cloud service.”

Online submission for tips can also be completed by clicking on the “See Something, Say Something” section of the district website. The visitor will then be prompted to choose a district location for which their tip applies and a language they would like to fill out the report in.

Subjects for reporting forms include bullying, concern for self or others, discrimination or harassment, physical abuse or misconduct, a threat to schools or students, or vandalism.

One of the WeTip2.0 info posters is shown at Laguna Beach High School on Tuesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Keller stressed that WeTip2.0 should not take the place of calling 911 in the event of an emergency.

Posters have also been put up around the district’s four school campuses. Keller said the posters, which are equipped with QR codes that allow the scanners to access the reporting system, have gone into classrooms from the upper-grade level at elementary schools through the high school.

“Creating an environment where students feel empowered to take actions that keep our campuses physically and emotionally safe is a top priority,” Chad Mabery, the district’s assistant superintendent of instruction, said in a statement. “This innovative and widely adopted tip reporting technology provides timely investigation and support for important school-related concerns.”

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