October 30, 2020
To an account administrator receiving a message when the school is dark and locked up, she’s Agent 02 of STOPit’s Incident Management Center (IMC). But to a student in trouble, Tracy Craig just might be the person who saves the day.
Through the STOPit Incident Management Center, anonymous incident reports sent on nights, weekends and holidays are monitored around the clock by a team of trained professionals. While the campus is quiet, incident management agents like Craig are standing by, prepared to handle any situation brought to their attention by students from thousands of schools from coast to coast.
“STOPit is proactive and that’s what I love about it. They get in front of the incident before anything escalates or gets out of control,” Craig said. “Because we’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we’re able to respond in real time and we’re able to save lives.”
How Off-Hours Reports Are Handled
When a user files a report via the STOPit app, the web or the phone hotline, Craig and her team will first assess its urgency. If it’s a non-life threatening report, no intervention is needed and administrators can properly handle it during standard school hours. But if it’s an emergency, they must move quickly.
The team’s first step is to call the school’s primary emergency contact, no matter what time of day. If the administrator answers, IMC staff can direct the admin to the report which permits them to communicate directly with the student right away.
If he or she doesn’t answer, the agent will move on to the secondary and third contacts on the list; if they can’t be reached, local law enforcement will be contacted. The IMC has access to translators that can assist with several languages if the report is not filed in English.
As Craig observed, agents like herself are “in the center of it all.” She is not only in direct contact with students and school personnel, but regularly works with STOPit’s technical team on any issues that arise and sometimes receives inquiries that require her to work with sales staff.
Like a 911 operator, a STOPit IMC agent must be prepared for the unpredictable. An analysis of STOPit data from the 2019-20 school year showed that over 36,000 reports were filed systemwide. A wide range of incidents were reported, with the most common types being bullying (12%), misconduct (12%), harassment (11%), substance abuse (9%) and threats (6%).