Crisis Communications

Use of Anonymous Reporting Tools Declines in K–12

In a new report about crisis communications, a full quarter (25%) of respondents who work in K–12 reported that their students do not have a means of reporting tips anonymously. This at a time when concerns about violence on campus are dramatically up.

According to the report, Crisis Communication and Safety in Education Survey: Concerns, Challenges & Planning for the 2022–2023 School Year, from Rave Mobile Safety, that 25% figure is a full seven percentage points higher than than what was reported last year — meaning far fewer students have the option of reporting concerns anonymously.

Meanwhile, a majority of respondents (55%) are more concerned now than a year ago about the threat of physical violence in their schools, and only 10% are less concerned than they were a year ago.

The survey, conducted in February, involved responses from more than 800 K–12 and higher education professionals in "administration, emergency management, facilities and operations, IT services, marketing and communications, safety and security and student services."

Among the 75% of respondents who said they do allow anonymous school safety tips:

  • 51% said they lets students, faculty and staff use an online portal;
  • 32% reported using a physical submission box;
  • 30% reported using SMS; and
  • 27 percent reported using a mobile safety app for this purpose.

According to the report's authors: "Emergency communication plans and protocols have been under heavy scrutiny over the last few years. K-12 leaders are more aware than ever of the need to communicate clearly and intentionally across multiple channels. They are also more attune to the fact that different channels can have varying purposes depending on the severity of the emergency."

According to the survey, the top tool used for reaching the community in the event of a crisis was email, at 80%, followed by text messages (65%), voice broadcasting and social media (48% each), and intercom communications systems (33%). Only 18% reported using a mobile safety app for this purpose.

The report noted that 19% are considering replacing their current notification system. Only 23% reported they had not experienced any problems with their communications systems in the last 12 months. Among the rest, problems cited included:

  • Issues reaching parents or students (26%);
  • Problems reaching staff (23%); and
  • Problems sending targeted messages to specific groups (15%), among other reported problems.

The full report is available on the Rave Mobile Safety website. You can also read more about the findings on school safety trends here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .