Carmel Schools introduces online reporting system


Kevin Rader/Eyewitness News

Hamilton County - Carmel schools are making a new effort to protect students from bullying and hazing. A new website allows students to report trouble quickly and anonymously.

Carmel parents, as well as high school and middle school students, will be able to use the service.

A new school year at Carmel High School means a new start. Last year, the school was mired in allegations of bullying and hazing on the boys' basketball team. Now the school is making a new start with anonymous alert.

"MyCCS allows for a completely anonymous but very effective way to report that information and then have action taken on it in an appropriate fashion, in a very quick way - less than 24 hours," said Dr. Jeff Swensson, Carmel Schools superintendent.

The anonymous reporting system has been in the pipeline for several years, but the new superintendent decided he would implement it immediately.

Parents received notification about the new service earlier this week.

"I thought it was a good idea. I think kids need some venue that they may not feel as threatened as if they tell a teacher or some other adult about a problem," said Wanda Murdock, parent.

"The anonymity lets you accuse people without any justification," said Amy Herman, another Carmel parent. "So if there's no face to face, you can accuse a teacher of anything. It sounds good but it's not necessarily fair on either side."

That's not the only change Carmel instituted this year in light of the bus assault on a freshman and other allegations.

"We've taken a look at line of sight in our locker rooms and we're working to develop better lines of sight. We have tremendous supervision plans. We've always had a good supervision sense but now we're just a little bit more precise," said Swensson.

From now on, anything a student sees or a parent hears can immediately be reported and investigated.

There's one clear line: more serious allegations should still be reported to police.