The mission of Safe2Tell is to ensure that every Colorado student, parent, teacher and community member has access to a safe and anonymous way to report any concerns to their safety or the safety of others, with a focus on early intervention and prevention through awareness and education.
Research shows that in 81% of violent incidents in U.S. schools, someone other than the attacker knew it was going to happen but failed to report it. According to the Columbine Commission's report, young people are reluctant to report threats due to a student culture that fosters and enforces a "code of silence".
Safe2Tell provides students and adults in all Colorado schools and communities an increased ability to both prevent and report violence by making safe, ANONYMOUS calls.
Anonymity is key. Both state law and the procedures established by Safe2Tell for receiving and forwarding tips guarantees the anonymity of every caller. Calls are answered at a Colorado State Patrol communication center. When action is needed, information is immediately forwarded to local school officials and law enforcement agencies, as appropriate.
Safe2Tell then goes the extra step and follows up with the school who received the tip to ensure that it was investigated and that action was taken. The assurance that calls cannot be tracked and that appropriate action will be taken is helping persuade young people to move away from a code of silence and to take a stand.
One benefit of empowering students to help create their own safe school environment is increased academic performance. Dr. Del Elliott of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence states, "In some cases, there is little reason to believe that changes in curriculum or instructional practices will have any significant effect on academic performance until kids feel safe and respected at school."
Since 2004, Safe2Tell has received 9,750 calls resulting in 3,596 viable tip reports in the state of Colorado. These cases represent youth who were helped before their problems escalated. The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) evaluated the effectiveness of the Safe2Tell presentation as a strategy for training students and adults in violence prevention education. Preliminary study results show that participation tends to increase violence prevention knowledge in helping youth and adults overcome their reticence in asking for help for themselves or others about many different kinds of problem behaviors such as bullying, suicide, and substance abuse.
The Safe2Tell solution has proved to be immensely successful in saving lives and preventing tragedy with a 500% rate of growth over the last 4 years in program usage. This is one of the most viable long-term solutions in Colorado for advancing school and community safety. Safe2Tell is the leading prevention initiative in post-Columbine Colorado with a particular focus on the civic responsibility of early reporting for prevention and education.