Rick also recently sat down with Amanda Agguire, former state senator and CEO and Founder of the Regional Center for Border Health (RCBH). Agguire helped create the Yuma County Anti‐Bullying Task Force in 2008 in an effort to raise awareness regarding such a sensitive and difficult issue in rural Yuma County, Arizona.
Through the use of Awareity’s TIPS, the Community Action Group is encouraging students, parents, staff, and community members to report incidents of bullying, threats of violence, weapons, drugs/alcohol, vandalism, sexting, suicide and other risks. Proper personnel from the school district selected, as well as counselors from RCBH and appropriate city/county law enforcement, are instantly notified. All prevention efforts and actions taken are documented as team members work together to assess the situation and formulate an effective intervention plan.
We are extremely impressed by Amanda’s leadership and drive to bring the community together to prevent bullying from escalating into tragedy.
Below is a quick excerpt from the interview. To listen to the full conversation, click here!
Why did your organization see the need for an incident management and prevention platform like TIPS?
We had a need for a platform because of several incidents in this community. With the number of children that attend our schools, because of bullying and other incidents, we searched for a platform like TIPS. We were very impressed with the way the TIPS platform manages the information and provided easy access, and the experience that you are bringing to this field. We want children to feel comfortable when reporting these incidents. It has been a community effort to support and assist the families.
How do you promote TIPS ongoing to your school communities? How do you ensure the right people (law enforcement, schools personnel, etc.) are involved?
It was easy for me because I was a former state senator, so I invited the superintendent and principals to create awareness and gain commitment from leadership to address this issue in our community. It was a trickle effect then, they went back to their communities to bring awareness to them. TIPS is on the website, and we have health clubs that discuss it. They are responsible to bring awareness to their groups of the different issues in the community, in this case bullying, and teen pregnancy.
How has TIPS help you proactively prevent incidents and situations from escalating? Examples?
We had one incident that law enforcement decided to take the lead on. They talked to the individual that was being bullied and the one that was doing the bulling and put them both in counseling. We helped both individuals and prevented others from bullying the individual. We want to concentrate on all students that need help, including the ones that are doing the bullying to see why they are being so aggressive and solve this issue as well.
You are planning to use Awareity’s student safety/school climate survey this fall. What information/value are you hoping to learn from the survey?
We would like to see what level of impact TIPS has made in the community and throughout our schools. Hoping to get feedback regarding bullying and other incidents, and learn more about what areas we need to focus more on.
Any other comments/lessons learned you would like to share regarding TIPS?
Very user-friendly, and friendly staff! TIPS has helped us and our community. We have brought you (Awareity staff) live to help us through training and demonstrations. We all need to be aware and prevent critical incidents like those that other communities have been through.