HB 123 Requirements – Anonymous Reporting Systems
Adopt an Anonymous Reporting Program: HB 123, enacted during the 133rd General Assembly requires each local, city, exempted village, and joint vocational school district to register with the Safer Ohio School Tip Line operated by the Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC) or enter into an agreement with an anonymous reporting program of the district’s choosing by the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.
The reporting program must meet the following requirements:
- Operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week;
- Forward reported information to and coordinate with the appropriate school threat assessment teams and law enforcement and public safety agencies required under the school’s emergency management plan developed under section 5502.262 of the Ohio Revised Code;
- Be promoted in each district school to inform students about the reporting program and its reporting methods; and
- Comply with sections 149.433 and 3319.321 of the Revised Code and the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974,” 20 U.S.C. 1232g.
Annually Submit Data: Each district is required to submit a series of data points to the OSSC and Ohio Department of Education (ODE) at the end of each school year. The departments have created the following data collection worksheet to assist schools with gathering this information throughout the school year using existing ODE data collection fields.
The legislation also requires the anonymous reporting system provider to submit data to both departments as well. This information can be collected on the third tab in the same worksheet.
More information will be provided closer to the end of the school year on how schools and vendors can submit this information to the departments using the above worksheets. Data will be due with the annual certification of emergency management plans, no later than July 1. A list of FAQs is available here.
Any data collected by the Safer Ohio School Tip Line or an anonymous reporting program or reported to the department of education or department of public safety pursuant to this section are security records and are not public records pursuant to section 149.433 of the Revised Code.
Reminder: The OSSC Provides a Free Anonymous Reporting System for Ohio Schools
What is the Safer Ohio School Tip Line?
Governor Mike DeWine established the Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC) in August of 2019 to support schools, first responders, and communities in preventing, preparing for, and responding to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm. One of the resources that the OSSC administers is the Safer Ohio School Tip Line.
This free service is monitored 24/7 for anonymous reporting and can receive both calls and texts. This tip line allows students and adults to anonymously share information with school officials and law enforcement about threats to student safety—whether that involves a threatened mass incident or harm to a single student.
How does this help my school and students?
Victimizations, bullying, and other disorders such as drug and alcohol use are often not reported directly to school authorities or even to parents and guardians. Oftentimes this is because students do not want to be identified, do not want a friend or classmate in trouble, or do not know how or where to report these threats.
As we enter into the 2021-2022 school year, it is important to share these available resources with our students and families. Students need to be aware of the outlets available to them to share concerns and talk to someone if they are feeling stressed.
The Safer Ohio School Tip Line helps bridge that gap and enables information to be shared by students to law enforcement and school officials, even outside of the school day.
Where do I register?
Registration is not required to receive tips reported to the Safer Ohio School Tip Line, but it will allow you to receive free promotional materials for your school and ensure you receive the latest opportunities from the OSSC.
Tip: Don’t forget to keep your Emergency Contact Information Sheet up-to-date in OH|ID to ensure we have the correct information for when a tip comes in.
How do I share this free resource with my students?
Two free resources available to your school staff and students are the Safer Ohio School Tip Line and the Crisis Text Line.
The OSSC is asking that you personalize and share the below draft letter with your students, staff, parents, and guardians to make them aware of these services. The letter can be put on your school’s letterhead and easily sent out in an email or printed to send home with students.
Draft Safer Ohio School Tip Line Letter
Download the below images to share on your website, virtual classroom pages, or social media. Tag your posts with #OhioSchoolSafetyCenter and #SpeakUpSaveLives
Safer Ohio School Tip Line Logo
Speak Up Save Lives Images
Tip Line Reporting Poster – Phone
Crisis Text Line Logo
Additional posters and images are available for download on the OSSC Website.
For questions regarding this free service, please contact us by emailing to OhioSchoolSafetyCenter@dps.ohio.gov.