HARRISBURG – The Senate unanimously approved legislation today that would help reduce school violence by creating a new school threat reporting system, according to Senator Scott Martin (R-13), one of the prime sponsors of the bill.
The Safe2Say Program would allow any individual to anonymously report threats regarding unsafe, potentially harmful, dangerous, violent or criminal activities in schools.
“The first step in preventing violence in our schools is identifying potential threats before the situation turns deadly,” Martin said. “In the vast majority of school shootings, warning signs reported by students, teachers and law enforcement were ignored until it was too late. This system will give all members of the community a way to help report potentially dangerous situations before innocent lives are lost.”
The program would be patterned after the Safe2Tell program that was created in Colorado in 1999 after the school shooting at Columbine. That system has received more than 30,000 reports of potentially dangerous situations since 2004.
Under Senate Bill 1142, the Attorney General would be tasked with administering the system and ensuring the information is sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency and school officials for further investigation.
The program will cover emergency and non-emergency reports. Tips on bullying, suicide, drug use, cutting and depression could also be reported through the system, as well as threats to schools.
At least five other states have created similar programs.
Senate Bill 1142 was also prime sponsored by Senators Pat Browne (R-16) and Vincent J. Hughes (D-7).
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