Thursday, December 19, 2013

Michigan Adopting a Program Similar to Safe2Tell

Michigan is implementing a confidential reporting program based on the success of Colorado's Safe2Tell tip line. Safe2Tell was started after identifying potential preventative measures from the Columbine shootings. State officials identified the need for a confidential reporting system so adolescents could report any threats of which they were aware: violent students, a fight after school, a suicidal friend, a friend being abused by his or her parents, weapons on school grounds and more. After a report is made, Safe2Tell staff involve local law enforcement and school leaders, as appropriate. Colorado's program has responded to roughly 9,000 tips since 2004, addressing 284 planned school attacks, 1,300 planned suicides, nearly 1,400 drugs/alcohol reports, 2,200 bullying incidents, 569 sex offenses and 320 gun/weapon reports.
The success of this program depends on youth knowing about the resource and utilizing it when they have concerns. In light of the events last week at Arapahoe High School, be sure to incorporate Safe2Tell resources into your work with adolescents as a resources for violence, suicide and bullying prevention.