Schools hook up to secret witness line

Although most students in Lee Clark's sixth-grade class at Eagle Valley Middle School said they feel safe at school, they are also comforted to know that an anonymous hotline is now available to report crime.

"If we went and told a teacher, we wouldn't be anonymous," said Kali Williams, 12. "We might get in trouble by the person who's doing it."

The Time2Act hotline allows students and anyone else to call 202 from any Nevada Bell phone in Carson City to be connected to the School Secret Witness line to report violence and other crimes in their schools.

Nevada Bell established the hotline in conjunction with School Secret Witness, KTVN Channel 2, Carson City School District and Carson City Sheriff's Department.

Channel 2 presented the program to Eagle Valley Middle School students Tuesday to formally begin the operation.

In a video prepared by Channel 2 news, Karen Reuter, news anchor, told students, "You are part of the most violent generation of students in school history."

John Mercer, Channel 2 news anchor, explained the program to the students.

"Go to any Nevada Bell phone and dial 202," he said. "What we want to let you guys know is that you can feel safe at school."

Ray Guzman, the school resource officer, encouraged students to take an active role in preventing school violence and crime.

"We're here for your safety and we need your help," he said. "If you hear anything, even if it may not be true, tell someone."

Mike Mitchell, director of operations for the school district, said the hotline will not only be anonymous but a reward will be offered to those who report a crime.

"That's what this is all about, creating a nice, safe environment for learning," Mitchell said.

Larry McBee, external affairs manager for Nevada Bell, passed out plastic cards to each student containing hotline information. Chief deputy Jerry Mather also attended the presentation.

Josh Caron, 11, said the report was helpful.

"It was pretty good," he said. "I learned that school is supposed to be safe, you're not supposed to be scared."

Washoe County has operated the secret witness line since October 1998.


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