Students at Pacheco High School have a new way to report crimes and misdeeds on campus.
Last month, the school partnered with the Los Banos Police Department to launch an anonymous tips-line program. The school is the first to use the system, but it is expected to be instituted at Los Banos High School and Los Banos Junior High School soon.
The system was developed using a free Google Voice account. Students can leave a voicemail or send a text message reporting anything they believe needs attention. The voicemail is automatically translated into a text message and sent to a group of designated school officials.
"We believe in our wonderful students and programs like this allow them to embrace their global responsibility to be good citizens and report information that ensures the safety and security of our school and community," Pacheco High Interim Principal Grace Taylor said.
School officials have received several anonymous tips, police said, that have led to four students with small amounts of marijuana and one with alcohol, and several fights being prevented, police said.
"We've found that the students typically are well informed of activity at their schools. We want to give all available eyes on campus the ability to report things they feel are wrong," said Dusty Norris, a school resource officer.
The number for the tips line is (209)675-7527. Norris said parents who want to speak with school staff or report suspicious activity should contact the school's business line at (209) 827-4506.
Taylor does not want to give the impression that her campus is riddled with crime or disciplinary issues.
"Traditionally, Pacheco High School has a low discipline rate and approximately 72 percent of the students enrolled are in college-preparatory classes," Taylor said.