MADISON, Ala. — The school year might look a lot different this year because of the pandemic, but students can still face a number of the same dangers. Madison Police says parents need to make sure their kids know about their text-line, so the department can step in to help if needed.
We met with the department to talk about why this project is critical.
Just pull out your phone and send a text: That’s all students in Madison have to do if they come across any dangerous activity at school or at home.
Officer Teresa Taylor-Duncan, the Community Relations Officer with Madison City Police says, “It’s very hard for a young person to come forward and make a report of someone buying or selling drugs in school. The Text-To-Protect program gives them that platform so the information can come to us, we can investigate it, and their name never has to be involved in it.”
The distribution of drugs in school isn’t the only activity students can report. Officer Taylor-Duncan says, “Domestic violence, threats of violence, drug activity, bullying… Anything that concerns our students and our young people. They can make these reports using a text method, they can also call the phone number. There’s also an email they can send.
The text line can be used anonymously. Officers say, these tips can be life saving not only at school, but also with potential instances with domestic violence at home. Officer Taylor-Duncan adds, “It gives us the information we need to get the help to these children and these teenagers who might be in a situation that may not be safe.”
She tells our reporter, “Text (256) 604-2345. Put it in your phone. Save it! Save it under ’TTP’ nobody has to know what you’re doing. Parents: put that number in your phone also. You can make the same reports that your children can.”
Officer Taylor-Duncan says the goal of the program is prevention. She adds, “We hope to prevent all instances of bullying, school violence… anything you see kind of simmering on the stove if you will. If we can hit these things off before it comes to the level of criminal activity or before someone gets hurt, then the Text-to-Protect system has been a success.”
Teachers and parents can use the Text-To-Protect program as well to send in a tip if they have one.