By Samantha Thomas, staff writer
Last January, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 44 of 2018, which created a School Safety and Security Committee, established mandatory training, and further secured public schools in the state. Part of this act mandated a statewide launch on January 14 of ‘Safe2Say Something’ an anonymous reporting system for school related safety concern.
The program was created by the Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012. Pennsylvania is the first state to roll out the program statewide.
“The goal of the program is to help someone before they make the tragic choice to carry out violence,” said Nicole Hockley, who helped create ‘Safe2Say Something’ after losing her six-year old son Dylan at Sandy Hook.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said tips to this hotline will go to specially trained agents in his office who will analyze them. Shapiro’s office has hired people specifically for the ‘Safe2Say Something’ program. These agents are not crisis counselors and have only been trained for this program. According to a press release from the Attorney General’s Office, 615 tips and calls were received statewide in the first week of operation.
All Saegertown students were trained on Safe2Say on January 22 during fifth period. The training covered warning signals, signs, and threats as well as how to use the site or mobile app to submit a tip.
On January 22 at 6:29 p.m. the first tip from Saegertown High School was reported through the mobile app. The tip was received by Saegertown Principal Tom Baker at 6:10 a.m. on January 23. “The reason the tip took so long to be received is because it was deemed not life-threatening,” Mr. Baker said. He also noted that the system appeared to work as it was designed to do.
If you have serious concerns about your own safety or the safety of your peers, you may report through either the Safe2Say mobile app, website or on the mobile tip line at 1(844) 723 2729.