DENVER (CBS4) – As Safe2Tell Colorado turns 15 years old, students, administrators and the programs director say it continues to be a vital violence prevention tool. Students and administrators return to McCauliffe International School on Thursday, and they say they are grateful to have the Safe2Tell Hotline.
“I want to be a writer, a Broadway star and an actress,” said McCauliffe International School 8th grader Rowan Ellis.
Not only does she have big dreams, but also a big heart.
“I love all of the people in school. I love the teachers and I love my friends, and even people I’m not as close to, it’s still really fun to be around them,” she said.
Her mom, Essi Ellis, is the Program Director for Safe2Tell Colorado.
“The thing that I love about Safe2Tell is it really provides that platform for kids to reach out and get the help that they need,” she said.
Essi took over the 15-year-old program in April where tips about bullying and self-harm have been on the rise.
“Really at the end of the day our number one tip, consistently for a few years now has been suicide and so we do a lot to help focus on suicide prevention and to get our local partners in mental health involved.”
Micah Klaver is the Assistant Principal at McCauliffe.
“At any point in time I can get on Safe2Tell and look at some of the common trends that are going on in my school,” said Klaver who feels the data helps him protect kids.
“The primary focus is on safety. We believe that students can’t learn unless they feel safe,” he said.
Rowan agrees, “It’s good to know that there’s something that’s there and can help you and that you’re not just alone.”
Essi admitted that the anonymity of the program has led some to abuse the system and falsely report other students or teachers.
“On the up side we have 97% of credible tips that we get every year that we’re able to successfully respond to and intervene early,” said Ellis.
Students can anonymously report concerns or threats by calling 1-877-542-7233, or downloading the mobile app.
The Safe2Tell website also offers resources and publications for educators, parents and students on everything from sexting to cutting and huffing.