Silent Observer, Schools Partner

August 30, 2004
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GRAND RAPIDS — Silent Observer is beginning its second year of administering its Fast 50 program in schools throughout Kent County.

Last year, the confidential tip line received 169 tips that resulted in 88 students disciplined for violations of the school conduct code. Most of the tips were drug-related, but due to these tips 20 weapons were recovered, 56 students were caught in possession of drugs, the identity of three students who vandalized their schools were uncovered and a master key to one of the schools was recovered.

The program offers a $50 reward if the information leads to the reprimand of a student.

Silent Observer authorized $4,500 in reward money for Fast 50 tipsters this year, which is a 40 percent increase over last year. Forty-five individual schools in Kent County have signed up for the program, although the tips Silent Observer received last year came from only 17 schools.

Students who call the tip line, at (866) 774-2345, to report instances of weapons, drugs, vandalism, threats and theft occurring on school grounds are eligible for the rewards if school administrators can follow up on the information. If a weapon is confiscated or a threat of school violence is uncovered, students are eligible for a $100 reward.    

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