(June 6) – Governor Hickenlooper signed a key school safety bill sponsored by Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst and Majority Leader Crisanta Duran into law today. SB16-193 expands the state’s successful Safe2Tell program by providing funding and free training materials to schools, 4-H, and Boys and Girls Clubs.
The Safe2Tell program originally developed as a response to the Columbine High School tragedy. It provides a free, anonymous hotline for students to report threats made by other students and has led to interventions that have prevented numerous suicides and attacks in Colorado schools. Last year Safe2Tell released an app that allows students to anonymously report threats via their cellphones.
“Our schools should be safe havens for learning and growing,” said Speaker Hullinghorst, D-Boulder. “This law helps our educators and school employees prevent bullying and violence and ensure our schools are safe.”
In 81 percent of violent incidents in U.S. schools, a person other than the attacker knew it was going to happen but failed to report it, according to research by the U.S. Department of Education. The tip may go unreported due to fear of reprisal or being labeled a ‘snitch.’ The anonymous hotline takes away those barriers to action.
“Safe2Tell helps us intervene early to protect and save youth’s lives,” said Majority Leader Duran, D-Denver. “This bill expands training and awareness so that students and teachers have the tools to protect themselves and their peers from danger.”