DENVER – Colorado’s Safe2Tell program received more than 1,500 tips in August as children returned to school – a record for the program and a 75% increase over last August.
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office, which oversees the program, said Tuesday that the number of tips was a record for the first month of the school year for the program, which aims to prevent violence through anonymous reporting, and which celebrates its 15th anniversary this month.
The office said 139 of the 1,503 tips received were duplicates and that suicide threats (235) and drugs (114) were the top-reported tip categories. Bullying (98) and other threats (81) accounted for the third and fourth most-reported categories.
The AG’s Office said false tips aimed at harming or bullying others accounted for about 2.5% of reports.
The program has grown immensely since it was put in place after the Columbine High School shooting – from 102 total reports in 2004 to nearly 20,000 during the last school year.
“We are already seeing an uptick in reports as the new school year begins. This demonstrates not only that students are aware of Safe2Tell, but also that they are increasingly comfortable using it to report concerns,” said Attorney General Phil Weiser. “The beginning of the school year is a welcome opportunity to reflect on past program successes and help educate students and communities on how to use the tool effectively and appropriately to make our schools safer and our students heard.”
To make a report, people can call 1-877-542-7233 any time of the day, seven days a week. Reports can also be made through the Safe2Tell app or at Safe2Tell.org.