ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - One Albuquerque principal wanted to implement a program used at schools around the country that allows students to report issues at school and outside of school and remain anonymous, but parents had concerns.
Albuquerque Public Schools told KRQE News 13 that La Cueva High School's principal Dana Lee was searching for a proactive outlet for students to voice concerns.
The district said a staff member suggested using P3 Campus.
The system is used at campuses across the country. Students can download an app to their cell phones. Then, they select the school they're from and can report anything from bullying to sexual assault, and even suicide threats.
Lee sent an email to parents last week, notifying them the school had implemented the system:
"Finally, to ensure the safety of our students, La Cueva has implemented an online tip reporting system called, P3Campus. Tips can be reported to www.P3Campus.com or through the P3Campus mobile app. These tips are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a call center. Urgent and time sensitive tips are reported to police immediately. Each tip is reviewed and shared with the proper authority. Tipsters can communicate with a live person and also upload pictures or screen shots. Incoming tips can range from campus violence and bullying to a suicidal student. This service is completely confidential for the tipster. Please encourage your student to use the tip line if they would prefer to pass on information anonymously, or they obtain important information outside of regular school hours."
Students at La Cueva said there are pros and cons to the P3 Campus system.
"They're just going to use it to mess around and report things that aren't real," Kayley LaBeau said.
"Maybe there won't be as much fights, as much drugs or as much illegal stuff going on," Zac Kehl-Winters said.
According to APS the school dished out nearly $1,500 dollars and signed a one year contract to use the system. The money came out of the "school's activities funds."
Students also have the option to attach photos with their tip. The site, along with Lee, promises the tipster will remain anonymous.
Some parents compared the app to "Big Brother." Others liked the basic idea, but only if it could guarantee anonymity.
"As long as it stays anonymous and as long as they [students] don't get repercussions from it," Annie Jewell said.
Other parents told KRQE News 13 the system should only be used for in-school conflicts and not information obtained "outside of regular school hours."
"Reporting the stuff that's happening on the school grounds is good because the school should be responsible for that, but nothing at home because that's the parent's responsibility," Vicki Sullivan said.
A lot of parents KRQE News 13 spoke to said they didn't even know La Cueva had implemented the system.
Last week, Lee agreed to speak about the system, but after KRQE News 13 started asking questions, especially when it came to how the program worked to keep students identities anonymous, she changed her mind and decided not to use the P3 Campus app.
According to the district, APS campus police also raised concerns about the system.
KRQE News 13 spoke with the owner of the P3 Campus who said he plans to refund the money. He said the program is used in more than 3,000 schools across the country and not once has a student's identity been compromised. He said the program has received more than 9 million anonymous tips.
The district said as of right now, Lee decided not to use the system. APS did not say if the school is looking into using something different.