Monday, October 18, 2010

Attorney General announces Safe2Tell program has helped schools, law enforcement protect students

DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers unveiled new statistics today from Safe2Tell, a program within the Office of the Attorney General, illustrating how the program has helped school officials and law enforcement intervene in thousands of potentially dangerous and life-threatening situations. Since the 2004-2005 school year, students across Colorado have filed more than 2,700 reports concerning bullying, gangs and other problems through Safe2Tell. These tips and reports have helped local school and law enforcement to intervene and put a halt to problems before they grow and have potentially disastrous consequences.

“Safe2Tell has been a tremendous asset to schools and local law enforcement in the 158 cities and 58 counties where it operates in Colorado,” Suthers said. “The success of this program should underline for educators and the public that bullying, harassment and all the other problems facing youth today can be prevented when we give kids the resources to ask for help.”

The work of Safe2Tell and the more than 2,782 tips students provided have resulted in:

* 284 school disciplinary actions
* 67 arrests
* 393 investigations
* 344 counseling referrals
* 282 prevention and intervention plans
* 796 increased monitoring of individuals

Suthers said the annual data underlines that students are using Safe2Tell with increasingly frequency and, thus, are keeping law enforcement and school officials in the loop on issues and incidents they might otherwise not have learned about.

Suthers and officials from Jeffco Public Schools also announced today that Safe2Text, a pilot program expanding the way students can file tips and reports, has been a resounding success. Safe2Text, a pilot program with Jeffco Public Schools, allows students to file anonymous reports with school officials and law enforcement through an encrypted two-way text message system.

“We’ve already seen success with this program. We want to provide our students with the tools to empower them,” said Jeffco Public Schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson. “As a school district we want to be on the proactive side of violence, bullying or kids in crisis.”

Since the start of the pilot program with Jeffco Public Schools, Safe2Text has generated 28 serious tip reports: Seven reports involving drugs, four reports concerning bullying, three reports of suicidal threats, three reports of depression, three reports of sexual misconduct and one each of the following: child abuse, cutting, assault, harassment, discrimination, counseling, overpricing a fundraiser and one report classified as “other.”

“The success of our Safe2Text pilot program underlines that when we communicate with students on their own terms, we can make a difference,” Suthers said.

The Office of the Attorney General and Safe2Tell rolled out these statistics and announced the progress of the Safe2Text pilot program with Jeffco Public Schools as part of Safe Schools Week.

Safe2Tell is a program based on the Columbine Commission Report’s recommendation that students need a safe and anonymous way to keep lines of communication open between themselves, educators and law enforcement. The commission’s report emphasized that tragedies can be prevented if students have a way to tell someone ahead of time without worrying about facing retaliation from their peers.

Students can file a tip or a report with Safe2Tell by calling 1-877-542-7233 or by submitting a tip through the program’s Web site,

CLICK FOR Safe2Tell statistics release

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