Safe2Tell releases annual report: Tips decrease slightly in 2019-2020 school year
Sept. 29, 2020 (DENVER, Colo.)— Safe2Tell has released its annual report for the 2019-2020 school year. The report provides an overview and analysis of tip data submitted to Safe2Tell during the previous school year and includes recommendations on how to improve the program.
From Aug. 1, 2019, through July 31, 2020, Safe2Tell received a total of 20,822 tips, and 91.8% of those were actionable tips—excluding test tips, duplicate reports, pranks, and hang-ups. This is a 7% decrease in the number of tips received compared to the 2018-2019 school year, following continuous increases in tip volume for the past several years. Monthly tip volume began to decrease in March of this year as schools transitioned to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tips regarding suicide (3,821), drugs (1,468), and bullying (1,286) continue to be the top threats reported to Safe2Tell. The highest volume of reports was submitted via phone (30%), followed by mobile browser (25%), mobile app (25%), and web browser (18%). Of the 20,822 tips received by the program, 356 were self-reports. Of those, 137 were mental health related, and 219 were other concerns.
“We in Colorado have a shared goal: to support young people and to do whatever we can to develop strategies to help keep them safe,” said Attorney General Phil Weiser. “The Safe2Tell annual report provides us invaluable data as we continue improving the program and working with partners to strengthen youth safety efforts throughout the state. Together, we can help save lives of youth in Colorado.”
“Coloradans have felt the deep impacts of the pandemic as we navigate these unprecedented times together,” said Safe2Tell Program Director Essi Ellis. “Moving forward, we will redouble our effort to increase awareness about situational anxiety and isolation-induced stressors, and as always, we will continue to encourage all youth and community members to utilize this valuable and anonymous safety reporting tool, along with accessing the other excellent resources across our state.”
Of the total number of tips the program received during the 2019-2020 school year, 2.1% were false, a decrease from 2.4% during the 2018-2019 school year. False tips contain untrue information that are submitted to the program with the malicious intent to harm, injure, or bully another person.
Some recommendations in the report to improve the Safe2Tell program based on available data include:
- Enhance training efforts statewide through the continued education of school teams and law enforcement agencies on Safe2Tell best practices (see High Functioning Teams Guide), understanding differences between unfounded and false tips, using the Safe2Tell digital platform, and continuing to promote proper use of the program. Safe2Tell plans to provide digital trainings and educational resources during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Encourage collaboration between school teams, law enforcement agencies, and mental health partners, as appropriate, by providing resources for developing and maintaining high functioning multidisciplinary teams.
- Continue to bolster partnerships with community mental health partners by holding stakeholder webinars and meetings to develop a plan to offer direct connection or contact information for the state crisis hotline to tipsters who submit a tip to Safe2Tell.
In accordance with C.R.S. § 24-31-611, the Safe2Tell Annual Report is submitted to the Education and Judiciary Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Colorado General Assembly.
Safe2Tell is a successful violence intervention and prevention program for youth and community members to anonymously report threats to their own, and others’, safety. Safe2Tell is not an emergency response unit nor does it provide crisis counseling services; it is a conduit of information for distributing anonymous tips to local law enforcement, school officials, and other appropriate responding parties according 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.