HARRISBURG (Sept. 23, 2019) — 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 Josh Shapiro and Office of Attorney General representatives will mark this week by visiting schools across the Commonwealth.
They will launch a Public Service Announcement contest for students and advocate for legislative reform based on lessons learned from Safe2Say Something tips.
Shapiro said almost 25,000 tips have poured in from students since the program began. Most have not been about violence toward others, but about students struggling with mental health issues, he said.
Shapiro is calling on legislators to increase funding for mental health resources in Pennsylvania schools.
Shapiro promises to grow the program and make sure kids across Pennsylvania know it is a resource they can use.
The resolution adopted by the Pennsylvania House and Senate also noted:
- While initially intended to prevent threats against schools, Safe2Say Something has highlighted behavior and mental health concerns in students.
- Bullying, self-harm, suicidal intentions, depression and anxiety top the list reports through the Safe2Say Something Program.
- The Safe2Say Program is considered a national model to protect students, teachers, school employees and the community.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly in coordination with Sandy Hook Promise launched the Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System in January.
How Safe2Say Something works
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.
The AG’s office receives the tips. The office then reviews them and send them to law enforcement, school officials or an appropriate entity. More than 850,000 Pennsylvania students received training on how to use the reporting system.
Of 23,494 tips submitted through Safe2Say in the first six months, most focused on students struggling with mental health issues.
In response, Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) announced her intention to introduce legislation aimed at improving mental health programs and increasing funding in schools.
This Safe2Say Week, the AGs office testify before the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Senator Baker’s legislation.
Shapiro and his staff will also visit Pennsylvania schools during the week. There, they will 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 can put their creativity to the test by creating a 30-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) video about what Safe2Say Something means to them.
Deadline for submitting the video is November 18, 2019. Prizes including a GoPro Hero7 Silver, Amazon Fire 10, and an Amazon Gift Card. For information, go to www.safe2saypa.org/psa-contest.