On Thursday, a House committee signed off on changes to the Safe2Tell program at a time when the state’s school safety tip line is receiving record numbers of reports.
House Bill 20-1005 is the product of the School Safety Committee, which forwarded five proposals in October to the legislative session. This measure would route all Safe2Tell calls and texts to a crisis operator first, in case their services are needed. It would also require the program to conduct an annual advertising campaign to all school-age children, teachers and administrators, but it does not provide additional funding to do so.
Finally, the bill would authorize the attorney general to disclose information received in tips to law enforcement if there is “imminent physical harm or serious bodily injury to one or more persons.” Currently, all reports are done anonymously.
The House Committee on Education passed the bill 13-0.
Last month, Safe2Tell reported that tips in December 2019 had increased 8% over those received in December 2018. For the current school year, there have been 11,485 total tips, representing a 25% increase over the 2018-2019 school year.
Suicide threats, drugs and bullying are the most frequent types of tips reported, while false tips comprise 2.5% of all reports.
“Although Safe2Tell reports decrease during the holidays when many of our Colorado schools are on break, the continued increase in monthly tip volume when compared to last year shows our students and families are remaining vigilant,” said Attorney General Phil Weiser. “As we move into 2020, it is important that students continue to report anything they deem suspicious or cause for concern.”