At a recent news conference when BellSouth Mobility donated wireless security phones for administrators at all 11 Richmond County high schools, Georgia State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko praised the ongoing efforts of Superintendent Dr. Charles Larke and the School Board to enhance school security. In fact, the state school chief touted the Richmond system's innovative partnership with a telephone company as "a model for the state."
Each school will now have its own number for quick referrals by students who have information on suspicious students or who see a threat to school safety. Dubbed PUSH (Phone Us Some How), the program will be active year-round and includes sophisticated encryption techniques for secure conversations.
An administrator will control the phone at each school. When the students call, they will be able to leave a voice mail message -- and the administrator will be immediately notified of that message.
As Schrenko notes, "we find students in school generally know about something before it happens or have information about something that has already happened. This local program gives students an opportunity to tell what they know anonymously." Sounds good to us. Let's hope other area school systems can push PUSH through similar arrangements with a phone company.