Safe2Tell sees record increase in tip reports for the month of May
June 6, 2019 (DENVER, Colo.)—Safe2Tell released its monthly report today. In May, the program received 2,877 tips, an 84 percent increase in monthly tip volume compared to May 2018. To date for the 2018-19 school year (SY), Safe2Tell has received 18,916 actionable tips, a 22 percent increase over 2017-18 SY. Suicide threats (421), drugs (228), and bullying (198) continued to be the top three categories of tips reported to the program.
Historically, Safe2Tell sees an increase in tips at the end of the school year. However, the May increase is significant and could be attributed to the April anniversary of the Columbine tragedy, the recent STEM School shooting, and greater awareness of the Safe2Tell program.
Another trend from the May 2019 data is a remarkable 1,055 percent increase in duplicate tips involving the same case between the 2017-18 SY and the 2018-19 SY. This increase indicates that students witnessing the same concerning behavior are more willing to “break the code of silence” themselves, rather than ignoring signs of potential violence or expecting other classmates or administrators to intervene first.
“The increase in tips reported to Safe2Tell indicates increased levels of student engagement. It also underscores Safe2Tell’s value as an important violence intervention and prevention tool,” said Attorney General Phil Weiser, whose office oversees Safe2Tell. “Duplicate tips tell us that students are continuing to break the ‘code of silence’ and feel more empowered to take ownership of making their schools and communities safer.”
Local law enforcement and school districts follow up on each tip to determine the credibility of the tip, and make an appropriate response. To date for this school year, local law enforcement and school districts have reported that approximately 97.5 percent of tips were submitted in good faith and 2.45 percent of the tips were false. False tips do not include pranks, such as sending a joke, and unintentional misuse of the Safe2Tell system, such as reporting a lost student ID.
“While the overwhelming majority of tips are submitted in good faith, submitting a false tip can have serious consequences. Intentionally making false reports is not a good use of school, law enforcement, or Safe2Tell’s time, and takes valuable resources away from those who are in crisis and actually need help. Everyone should take tip submission seriously,” said Essi Ellis, director of Safe2Tell.
In May, anonymous tips from students and other individuals successfully helped prevent and mitigate potentially violent incidents of self-harm or harm to others. For example:
- One tip reported a potential attack on a school. The local county sheriff’s office investigated, and cited the student who was the potential attacker with a misdemeanor ticket and the student also faced school disciplinary action.
- Another tip alleged a student was threatening suicide. The police investigated, and successfully intervened by transporting an at-risk student to a hospital for evaluation and where the student was provided with counseling services.
- A student made a false report about a school shooting. After an investigation, the student who made the report admitted to the false tip and issued an apology recognizing that Safe2Tell “isn’t something you should mess around with” and should only be used “to report real emergencies.”
Safe2Tell is a successful violence intervention and prevention program for students to anonymously report threats to their own, and others’, safety. Safe2Tell is not an emergency response unit, it is a conduit of information from anonymous tips to local law enforcement, school officials, and appropriate responding parties.
To make a report, individuals can call 1-877-542-7233 from anywhere, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Reports also can be made at Safe2Tell.org or through the Safe2Tell mobile app which is available on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Lawrence Pacheco, Director of Communications
(720) 508-6553 office | (720) 245-4689 cell