September Safe2Tell report shows decrease in tips when compared to 2019
Oct. 13, 2020 (DENVER, Colo.)— Safe2Tell tip volume decreased last month when compared to September 2019, according to the monthly report released today.
In September, the program received 1,069 tips, a 60% decrease in monthly tip volume compared to September 2019. To date for the 2020-2021 school year, Safe2Tell has received 1,785 tips, a 57% decrease in tip volume compared to the same time last year, which is likely due to delayed school openings and distance learning practices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suicide threats (203), welfare checks (113), and cyberbullying (76) were the top categories of tips reported to the program in September. Many of the misuse tips were related to COVID-19 concerns, which should be reported to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
“As we can see from our top tip categories, community members, parents, and students are continuing to keep an eye out—sometimes virtually—for the wellbeing of our students,” said Attorney General Phil Weiser. “Cyberbullying is a concern we’ve seen raised throughout this pandemic, but by working together we can ensure the physical and mental safety of youth in Colorado.”
False tips are down to 1.7% from 2.5% of all tips submitted to Safe2Tell, which is also likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. False tips are those that contain untrue information and are submitted with the intent to harm, injure, or bully another person.
“I am encouraged to see that community members are continuing to use Safe2Tell to report threats about the safety of youth in Colorado,” Essi Ellis, director of Safe2Tell, said. “As this school year continues, we will continue to serve as a conduit, relaying these potentially life-saving reports.”
In September, anonymous tips from students and other individuals successfully helped protect students’ safety. For example:
- Safe2Tell received a tip regarding a suicide threat. The local crisis response team stated that they will follow up with the student.
- Safe2Tell received a report regarding suicidal comments. The student’s school team stated that they will coordinate with the school social worker who is currently working with the student.
The following is an example of misuse of the Safe2Tell program:
- A tipster wanted to report a drunk driver who was not associated with a school. They were advised to call their local law enforcement agency.
In September, the Safe2Tell program also launched a public service announcement campaign to raise awareness about the program. The Colorado General Assembly provided funding for the campaign from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), allowing the program to conduct new, COVID-19 specific, statewide outreach through the end of the 2020 calendar year.
Safe2Tell is also distributing masks to middle and high schools throughout the state as part of the CARES Act funding initiative.
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 nor mental health counseling service provider; it is a conduit of information for distributing anonymous tips to local law enforcement and school officials pursuant to state law.
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.