MBS Reporting Line enters Year 2
Mountain Brook Schools administrators and teachers work diligently to build and maintain positive cultures at each of the district’s six schools.
At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, MBS introduced a tool to help safeguard school culture from the corrosive effects of bullying, harassment, potential threats, and other forms of mistreatment.
Now entering its second year, the MBS Reporting Line provides families an electronic avenue to notify administrators and counselors of issues affecting their students.
“While we do believe we have great relationships with our families and students, there are individuals who are not comfortable talking about difficult things and would like a little more anonymity or confidentiality, although we try to provide that even if we talk face to face,” said Amanda Hood, MBS Director of Student Services.
Hood spearheaded the creation and implementation of the reporting line, which materialized following the Alabama Legislature’s passage of the Jamari Terrell Williams Act in 2018. The act expanded the definition of bullying and outlined steps school districts must take after receiving a complaint.
MBS conducted training with employees and students once Gov. Kay Ivey signed the act into law and has continued to do so each school year. The school district developed the reporting line to further strengthen its anti-bullying efforts.
“Our community values privacy, but also strongly supports our schools. Because of this, we knew that we wanted to provide an avenue for parents and students to confidentially or anonymously share concerns related to bullying, harassment, potential threats, or self-harm,” Hood said. “Our goal is to protect our students, which, in turn, protects the culture of the school.”
A link to the MBS Reporting Line can be found on the homepage of the district and school websites. The line is password protected through the ClassLink platform and allows users to submit an electronic report that goes immediately to the email inboxes of school administrators and counselors. MBS personnel begin to investigate reports within 24 hours and work as quickly as possible to find resolutions.
In addition to reporting bullying, harassment, and threats, students can use the line to reach out for assistance if they are considering or struggling with self-harm.
“We know the reporting line has served a purpose in the last year,” Hood said. “We know it’s something that we need to continue to improve and develop. We hope that our community uses it for how it’s intended — to help support our students and help preserve the culture of our schools.”
Hood sat down with Mountain Brook Junior High Principal Donald Clayton and Brookwood Forest Elementary Principal Nathan Pitner to discuss the importance of culture, how schools build it, and ways the school system seeks to protect it. That podcast is available here.