Washington, DC — Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) announced the reintroduction of the bipartisan Safe to Tell Act to help students anonymously report safety concerns and threats of violence. This bipartisan legislation would allocate grant funding to states for the implementation of a 24-hour Safe2Tell tip line that reports concerns to law enforcement, crisis prevention groups, and school officials.
“I am heartbroken that children in our country do not feel safe in their classrooms,” said Congressman Himes. “Since the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, this nation has been plagued by too many instances of violence that have stolen so many innocent lives and torn apart so many families. This legislation will expand a proven program that allows students and teachers to anonymously alert trusted authorities about possible danger. I am proud to co-lead this legislation with Congresswoman Rogers, and to take a step forward towards creating a secure and comfortable learning environment for all.”
“As a mom, I cannot imagine the pain of parents who dropped their kids off at school not knowing it would be the last time they’d ever see their smiling faces again. These senseless acts of violence are often preventable with the right tools, and it’s time we provide them to school districts across the country,” said Congresswoman Rodgers. “Safe2Tell’s confidential reporting system has proven to be successful at ensuring schools are safe places for our kids to learn, thrive, and reach their full potential. I’m hopeful we can implement it nationwide with our legislation to save lives and give parents confidence that their children are safe at all times.”
The Safe2Tell program, which was first created in response to 1999’s Columbine school shooting, recorded more than 19,000 reports of threats in Colorado during the 2021-2022 school year. The Colorado Attorney General found that 97 percent of the reports received were actionable items, including suicide threats, welfare checks, drug abuse, self-harm, and cyber bullying. The program operates in Colorado and Wyoming, and is available for use by students from 5th grade to college, as well as school staff.
The Safe to Tell Act would provide $25 million in grant funding annually for 4 years to the Department of Justice to promote the creation of this confidential reporting program in states across the country.
For further information contact Nora Kohli at Nora.firstname.lastname@example.org.