Confidential Tips

Do you have information that the Seaholm community and Birmingham need to know? Do you have the next big story The Highlander should pursue? What’s the good news you think our readers should enjoy? Is The Highlander missing something? Your story is important. Submit a tip!

This page is about how to submit a confidential tip and does not pertain to submitting Op-eds or letters to the editor. To submit an Op-ed or letter to the editor, click here.

What Makes a Good Tip:

If you think you have a story to tell, we’re keen to listen. Review these guidelines to help us serve you and the community.

Foremost, a tip has to be about an something real and tangible. Whether it’s something that happened, going to happen or something that’s happening right now, it’s important enough for us to take a look. Keep in mind, however,The Highlander does not report school gossip or conspiracy theories. You can wear your tin-foil hat or circulate salacious accounts of your teacher’s marital issues yourself (don’t actually), but, we won’t write about it.  Secondly, the tip should be important to someone in the Seaholm or Birmingham Public Schools communities. You don’t need to check all the boxes, but if involves or effects even a few students, parents, teachers, administrators, etc., we’re interested.

It’s best if tips have a central assertion or claim that you, the source, have inside information on. For example, if you know there’s sexual harassment in your friend’s class, it’s appropriate to claim, “A teacher is sexually harassing students,” and we will responsibly examine it.

Tips aren’t all negative either, if you’re working with your friends to do some good, “Seaholm students formed a non-profit through their church and are serving the needy,” is a great tip too. 

Lastly, good tips are as descriptive as reasonably possible. Make your claim, offer ways that it can be cobberated, then just tell us your story.

Fully Confidential Methods of Contact:

Texting is the best way to contact The Highlander with particularly sensitive information that could potentially jeopardize the provider of the information. Through texting, you can send documents, messages, audio, video, photos and make phone calls. iMessage specifically is equipped with full end-to-end encryption, meaning that only the sender and the recipient can view the messages with no third party in between.

To contact the Highlander through messaging, text the phone number 248-646-5774

Email is the best way to contact The Highlander with tips. The Highlander has a Gmail account that is secure, and checked on a daily basis. Ensure that you use your personal email to share information to The Highlander as to reduce the risk of being reprimanded for sharing crucial information from BPS or otherwise discoverable domains.

To contact The Highlander via email, address your message to editorial.highlander@gmail.com

 U.S. Mail is another way to ensure full confidentiality using a simplistic and tested system which ensures that packages will be delivered confidentially.

To contact The Highlander via the United States Postal Service, mail information and any supplements to it to The Highlander Staff, Seaholm High School, 2436 West Lincoln Street, Birmingham, MI 48009.

Your Privacy:

Tipsters, storytellers and whistleblowers are just as important as the stories they tell, which is why The Highlander values your privacy. Your privacy is fundamental to The Highlander’s mission and is critical to maintaining its reputation. You have the assurance of the entire publication that the information within your tip(s) will not be shared outside of the newspaper in any form whatsoever and that anonymity will be granted and protected if it’s required for publishing. Your information and identity will only be shared within The Highlander on a need-to-know basis with The Highlander’s editors and their advisor (if necessary) and will not be shared with other teachers, students, administrators, BPS staffers, members of law enforcement or any other individual or organization without your consent. For any additional questions regarding the tipping process, contact The Highlander, and we will guide you through it and help you make the understandably difficult decision to contact us with important information that needs to be known. We thank you very much for your trust and commitment to the necessary dissemination of important information to whomever it may concern via our award-winning newspaper and journalists.