HARRISBURG — The Office of Attorney General today launched Safe2Say Something Week. The Pennsylvania House and Senate are expected to designate the week of September 23-29, 2019 as Safe2Say Something Week. Attorney General Shapiro and Office of Attorney General representatives will mark this week by visiting schools across the Commonwealth, launching a PSA contest for Pennsylvania students, and advocating for legislative reform based on lessons learned from Safe2Say Something tips.
“Since the Legislature established Safe2Say Something and entrusted the program to my Office last year, we have received nearly 25,000 tips from students across Pennsylvania,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “The majority of those tips have not been about violence toward others, but about students struggling with mental health issues. I’m calling on our Legislature to listen to the students I’ve heard from across our Commonwealth and work to increase funding for mental health resources in our schools. Working with our partner Sandy Hook Promise, my Office will continue to grow this program and make sure kids across Pennsylvania know it is a resource for them.”
The resolution adopted by the Pennsylvania House and Senate also noted: “While initially intended to prevent threats against schools in this Commonwealth, the Safe2Say Something Program has highlighted a variety of behavior and mental health concerns in students… Bullying, self-harm, suicidal intentions, depression and anxiety are the top five event types reported through the Safe2Say Something Program… The Safe2Say Program is considered a national model to protect students, teachers, school employees and the community.”
The Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System was established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in coordination with Sandy Hook Promise and launched in January 2019. Safe2Say Something empowers students, teachers, school administrators, and others to anonymously report potentially unsafe activities in schools by submitting tips over the phone, online, or through the Safe2Say Something mobile app. Tips are received directly by the Office of Attorney General where they are carefully reviewed and sent to law enforcement, school officials, or an appropriate entity.
More than 850,000 Pennsylvania students received training on how to use the reporting system. In the first six months of implementation, there were 23,494 tips submitted through Safe2Say. The majority of the tips were focused on students struggling with mental health issues. In response, Senator Lisa Baker announced her intention to introduce legislation aimed at improving mental health programs and increasing funding in schools. This Safe2Say Week, the Office of Attorney General will offer testimony in front of the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Senator Baker’s legislation.
Attorney General Shapiro and Office of Attorney General staff will also visit Pennsylvania schools during the week to engage with students, teachers, and administrators and listen to their experiences with Safe2Say Something. Additionally, the Office is launching a Safe2Say Something Video Contest. Students across Pennsylvania are encouraged to put their creativity to the test by creating a 30-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) video about what Safe2Say Something means to them. PSAs must be submitted by November 18, 2019. Prizes including a GoPro Hero7 Silver, Amazon Fire 10, and an Amazon Gift Card. More information can be found at www.safe2saypa.org/psa-contest.
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