A program that gives students, parents and teachers a safe place to report threats in schools saw growth in the 2018-19 school year.
Safe2Tell offers an anonymous way to report a range of threatening behaviors and situations. The 24-hour confidential service has a toll-free number (800-996-7233), an app downloadable from the Apple Store or Google Play, and a web portal through which reports can be made (Safe2TellWY.org).
Since Safe2Tell started in October 2016 it has received nearly 2,900 tips from across Wyoming, according to its website. The 1,448 tips reported during the 2018-19 school year reflects the steady growth it has seen since opening.
“The increase each year in the number of tips submitted by students shows the level of comfort and trust they have in the Safe2Tell Wyoming program,” Program Manager Bill Morse said in the press release.
Safe2Tell acts as an intermediary between the reporting party and whatever agency — law enforcement or school district — will take action in a situation. An investigation determines whether a threat is credible and what action should be taken.
Some of the threats lead to schools being evacuated or shut down, as in Adams County, Colorado, where schools were locked down last month after someone reported seeing a student with a gun who was going to “shoot up the school” last month. Police searched the school in question but found no weapon, Fox News in Denver reported.
Other threats are deemed to not be credible. A Loveland, Colorado, student was briefly barred from school in August after someone reported him because he had posted a picture of guns on social media while on his way to a shooting range with his mother. Though he was eventually allowed back in school, he missed a full day while the school conducted a “threat assessment,” The Coloradan reported.
The organization did not provide county-specific data for Wyoming, but Teton County School District No. 1 information coordinator Charlotte Reynolds said the district has received one tip through the program since its inception, which was determined to not be credible.
The top five types of tips reported in Wyoming last school year were suicide threats, drugs, bullying, self-harm and vaping. Safe2Tell said vaping, which was not one of the original tip categories, has quickly become one of the most reported tips.