Safety Threats Reported To The Safe2Tell Tip Line In July Nearly Doubled From 2018 To 2019

Courtesy Colorado Attorney General's Office
Colorado’s Safe2Tell program accepts anonymous tips by phone, online or with a mobile app.

Safe2Tell got a record number of tips from young people reporting safety threats in July.

In the anonymous Colorado tip line’s monthly report, the program said it got more than 550 tips in July. That was an 81 percent increase from the prior year.

Over the course of the 2018-19 school year, Safe2Tell got nearly 20,000 tips, a nearly 30 percent increase from the year before.

The final few months of the 2018-19 school year were fraught for Denver metro students. In May, a shooting involving two high school students resulted in the death of one classmate and the injury of eight others at STEM School Highlands Ranch. The shooting came soon after Colorado marked the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School attack.

In April, schools across the Front Range closed as the FBI searched for an armed young Florida woman who was allegedly "infatuated" with Columbine and threatened violence. Classes and extracurricular activities for about a half-million students were canceled as a precaution.

“This past school year, Colorado was forced to reflect on past incidents of school violence while grappling with unexpected threats and tragedies,” Attorney General Phil Weiser said in a statement. “Safe2Tell data mirrored this reality with significant increases in overall tips and duplicate tips, demonstrating that students feel more comfortable using the system to report potential threats around them.”

The attorney general’s office oversees Safe2Tell.

Tips have risen every year since 2004. Suicide threats, drugs and bullying are among the top categories.

Cyber bullying remained in the top four categories in July. The program said that may be because students are not in school and have more time to be online and access social media. 

“Using online platforms to bully or harass another individual is a serious issue that carries legal consequences. We encourage families to continue talking to their children about treating everyone with respect,” Safe2Tell director Essi Ellis said. “When it comes to your online activities, always think about what you post before doing so.”