Safe2Tell Colorado strives to intervene in the life a young person who is struggling, helping them at the earliest possible point before the situation turns into a tragedy. Safe2Tell Colorado serves as the statewide bystander reporting tool for concerning behaviors. The Safe2Tell solution was developed specifically to encourage those with information about a possible event to report it.
Since 2004, Safe2Tell Colorado has received reports and aided in preventing hundreds of separate school attacks, helped prevent thousands of youth suicides, and intervened in countless threatening and dangerous situations. The numbers alone show the impact the Safe2Tell solution has on breaking down the code of silence. Sheer increases in the number of tips received each year demonstrate the change in culture and attitudes about reporting unsafe behaviors and situations. Safe2Tell is one of the most effective ways to gather intelligence from students, parents, teachers, and community members about potential violent incidents. Safe2Tell Colorado provides the following education and awareness programs across the state:
Safe2Tell Anonymous Reporting: Safe2Tell Colorado strives to intervene in the life a young person who is struggling, helping them at the earliest possible point before the situation turns into a tragedy. The Safe2Tell reporting resource was developed specifically to encourage those with information about a possible event to report it. As anonymity has been shown to create effective reporting, each report remains anonymous protecting the identity of each reporter. There is no caller ID or call tracing.
Safe2Tell Colorado serves as the statewide answering point for safety concerns. Both state law and procedures for receiving and forwarding tips established by Safe2Tell guarantees anonymity of every reporting party. Submitted anonymously by phone, web, or mobile app, each tip is taken seriously and trained personnel take appropriate action in response to credible information. Tips are answered twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at two separate Colorado State Patrol communication centers. Answering points are live and provide opportunity for two-way dialog with trained experts, who document as much information as possible, and both the reporting party and answering party may add information as necessary. When action is warranted, information is forwarded immediately to local school officials, mental health professionals, and/or law enforcement agencies, as appropriate. Safe2Tell Colorado takes the extra step to follow-up with the school that received the tip to ensure the tip was investigated and action taken.
The assurance that calls cannot be tracked and that appropriate action will be taken persuades young people to take a stand and move away from the code of silence culture.
Train the Trainer: In order to spread the Safe2Tell message throughout Colorado schools, Safe2Tell Colorado developed a training program that certifies individuals to present Safe2Tell Colorado information and provides classroom-guided discussion materials. The materials can be used beyond the classroom, including the trainer’s local community. This training program expands the reach of the Safe2Tell Colorado message, as well as promotes the use of, and ensures the effectiveness of, the tip-reporting program. Available for students, staff, call center employees, and certified trainers, training requests go through Safe2Tell Colorado staff for initial scheduling and processing. District liaisons are identified to assist with training schedules, identifying key stakeholders, and program implementation. Training presentations emphasize creating safe school and learning environments, early recognition of risk behaviors, appropriate investigation measures for successful tip outcomes, best practices for safe school plans, and Safe2Tell implementation strategies.
“Conversation Jumpstart” Classroom Discussions: Safe2Tell Colorado focuses on raising awareness of issues facing young people and empowering them to be part of the solution. Safe2Tell Colorado provides training modules, Conversation Jumpstarts, which give counselors and school resource officer’s tangible tools to have a guided classroom discussion. Available Conversation Jumpstart topics include bullying, cyber bullying, sexting, weapons, dating violence, depression, and substance abuse. While discussing these issues, trainers talk about the code of silence, when it is appropriate to make a report, and what happens when a report is made. The goal of the classroom-guided discussions is to increase awareness of the issues facing students today in schools, provide students with Safe2Tell Colorado resources, and create an effective dialog between caring, committed adults and youth, thereby building a relationship of trust.
Community Outreach and Advocacy: Creating safe schools and communities goes beyond providing a way for people to report threats and possible crimes. Effective school safety programming, providing referrals and resources, and influencing a change in culture extends beyond local community organizations, and reaches the highest levels of state government. The Colorado State General Assembly passed legislation to protect the anonymity of those making reports through Safe2Tell Colorado. Safe2Tell Colorado has a responsibility to advocate for best practices school safety practices that provide the needed resources to make Colorado schools safe and student success achievable.