Goreville schools offer helpline - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Goreville schools offer helpline

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GOREVILLE -- Students can face several challenges in school, that includes bullying, and even threats of mass shootings. Among the many tactics schools use to try and prevent tragedies, the Goreville School District is taking it a step further. 

Posters hang all around Goreville schools, reminding students help is not far away. By calling, texting or using an app, "Safe School Helpline" allows students to send in tips on bullying or potential threats, even giving them access to counselors. 

"If there is a child that is even potentially suicidal, we are able to offer them counseling services. Crisis counseling 24/7, 365 days a year, for less than a dollar a student," said Superintendent Steve Webb. 

Webb says the helpline is anonymous, allowing the students to report anything they've heard without fear it'll get back to their peers. 

"If we know about it, we can address it and we don't care how they are letting us know, as long as we know something," said Webb. 

Webb says he recommends the helpline to each superintendent he meets because of how effective he thinks it could be. He hopes they never have to use it to prevent a tragedy, but it's already came in handy for discipline issues. 

"We were able to identify the kid. We identified the trip immediately and we were able to issue our discipline within an hour. It was incredible," said Webb.  

Goreveille schools are a one-to-one district, meaning each student has an iPad or a Chromebook. Webb says since students use those devices every day, it was important to him that they were equipped with the "Safe School Helpline" app. 

"That's what they are comfortable with. Give them something they are comfortable with and they'll use it," said Webb.  

Webb says if the helpline prevents one tragedy or one student from getting bullied, it was worth every penny. He adds the "Safe School Helpline" isn't just for students. It's for the parents, and the community as a whole, to help protect the kids in the district.

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