McMorris Rodgers, Himes Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Detect Potential Threats and Keep Children Safe in Schools

Washington, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) today introduced the bipartisan Safe to Tell Act to keep children safe in schools by supporting the creation of threat reporting programs nationwide. Specifically, this bill would provide grant funding for states to implement the Safe2Tell tip line, which allows students to anonymously report safety concerns or threats of violence.

“As a mom, I cannot imagine the pain of parents who dropped their kids off at school not knowing it would be the last time they’d ever see their smiling faces again. These senseless acts of violence are often preventable with the right tools, and it’s time we provide them to school districts across Eastern Washington and the country,” said Rodgers. “Safe2Tell’s confidential reporting system has proven to be successful at ensuring schools are safe places for our kids to learn, thrive, and reach their full potential. I’m hopeful we can implement it nationwide with our legislation to save lives and give parents confidence that their children are safe at all times.”

“Confidential and anonymous reporting systems help prevent individual and community crises before they happen,” said Himes. “Our bill would help more states establish secure reporting systems for community and school members to alert trusted authorities about a student who might be at risk for hurting themselves or others. In the wake of repeated tragedies at schools across the country, we need to be doing more to create a safe environment for students to learn. I’m proud to co-lead this legislation to expand programs that have already proven to be successful at saving lives.”

Safe2Tell, which was first created in response to 1999’s Columbine school shooting, is on pace to record more than 18,000 reports of threats in Colorado this school year. In a review of the program’s effectiveness during the 2020-21 school year, the Colorado attorney general found that 95 percent of the 11,388 reports received were actionable items, including suicide threats, welfare checks, drug abuse, self-harm, and cyber bullying.

The Safe to Tell Act would provide $25 million in grant funding annually for 4 years to the Department of Justice to promote the creation of this confidential reporting program in states across the country.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Safe2Tell program.

CLICK HERE for a full report on the program’s effectiveness in Colorado.

CLICK HERE to read the full text of the legislation.

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