While it’s hard to think of what could happen if a tragedy struck a school in our community, it’s something school districts have to take into consideration.
Many districts use the Safe2Tell program, which was created here in Colorado.
Safe2Tell is a program that provides kids, parents, and community members with a safe place to report issues that could concern or harm them or others. They have an anonymous tip line via phone call, website, or phone app. Safe2Tell received 1,321 reports in January alone.
Colorado’s Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman, has been in discussions with Florida’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi, about bringing the Safe2Tell program to Florida.
The program’s executive director, Susan Payne, said if you’re questioning reporting something suspicious, always err on the side of reporting.
“You error on the side of reporting it,” she said. “Information sharing, we know, will make the difference between success and failure.”
Colorado Springs School District 11 spokeswoman Devra Ashby agrees.
“We tell all of our students and staff that, if something makes you uncomfortable, no matter what it is, if you overhear a conversation, if you hear something on social media, If something makes you uncomfortable, report it, because you can never be too safe these days,” Ashby said.
Payne said she hopes to spread this program nationwide.
“Reports here have saved kids’ lives that were suicidal in other states, or other countries. The realistic thing is that, another report in a different state could also safe a life and protect a school here,” Payne said.
She said students shouldn’t be afraid to speak up using the 100 percent anonymous tip line.
“Eighty-one percent of the time, when there’s a tragedy in a school, we know that somebody knew and didn’t speak up,” she said.
Created right here in Colorado, the Safe2Tell program is being used in schools across the state every day.
“Because we have Safe2Tell in our area, it has definitely saved lives in our own schools, and we’re very appreciative of that,” Ashby said.
To make a report about something you saw or heard, visit www.safe2tell.org .