Amarillo area students can now help stop crime on their campuses by sending a text message. Today's launching of the student CrimeStoppers texting tip line is expected to bring in more tips and as a result, make schools a safer place to learn.
Austin Middle School Eighth Grader Beth Thompson says she expects more students to feel comfortable reporting a crime with the anonymity of text messaging.
"Everybody's been really paying attention to problems because all the guns showing up in school, all the false alarms, everything like that."
She says texting will also help cut down on the time it takes to report illegal activity to law enforcement.
"I think it will help get our problems solved sooner because you don't have to wait like five minutes just to say something and texting, some of us are really fast texters. "
However, students are told text messaging should not be used in emergency situations.
Principal of Austin Middle School David Vincent says, "The best course of action is to notify an adult right away, whether it be a teacher or an adult that is in the classroom, staff member, administrator, let somebody know. "
And students must still obey school cell phone policies. CrimeStoppers Coordinator Dale Powers says, "School district rules apply. You can not do it during class. Before school, after school. If it's an emergency and it's something that we need to know immediately, they need to go to an administrator and let an administrator know what's going on. "