Safe2Share Safety Program
Safe2Share uses educational outreach and anonymous reporting to prevent a wide range of risky or violent actions. It is modeled after a pioneering school program in Colorado (www.safe2tell.org) that has been so effective that twelve states have started similar programs.
Safe2Share has three core parts (as does the Colorado program):
- A training program to help students, teachers and staff recognize the warning signs and urgency of potential harm or violence (bullying, teen suicide, school shooting)
- A reporting system (phone/web app, texting tool, toll-free phone line) to anonymously report the threat or behavior
- A school response team to assess the severity and urgency of the threat, direct appropriate support or intervention and reach out to the student.
When there is human connection there is less risk for violence. School counselors, teachers and classmates can connect with these at-risk kids. This is not treatment or a clinical response. It is a simple act of kindness and caring.
In a report on school violence the U.S. Secret Service shared this story:
“A young man who brought a rifle into school, killing two students, and wounding several others, told us this from his prison cell: ‘I was really hurting. I didn’t have anybody to talk to. They just didn’t care.’”
He didn’t have anybody to talk to. That person doesn’t need to be an adult. It could be a classmate sitting with him at lunch or on the bus. It doesn’t need to be a therapist (who can be very hard to access). It could be a school counselor or teacher. The first step in helping a desperate or dangerous teenager is to care and listen and connect.