Chances are, you don’t realize the number of incidents needing intervention in our schools today. With more than 86,000 children in Jeffco Schools, the number of incidents grows every year and the same is true for surrounding districts. For the 2015-2016 school year, Safe2Tell, received 5,816 reports and not every district uses the program.
We are fortunate that our district has embraced this program and we encourage everyone to talk with their students about the resource and, if they have a mobile device, to download the app. We also encourage parents to visit the website, https://safe2tell.org/home, to learn about the program firsthand. Our students hear about it from staff but, as parents, we often don’t hear as much. We can and should be the people pushing this program into every school district and ensuring that every student knows how to use this tool.
Of those reports for last year, 977 reports were for suicide risks. Suicide was the top report category, followed by bullying, cutting, drugs, and depression. Many lives are saved every year because of the program.
The largest number of reports come on Friday and the time of day with the largest number of reports is 9pm, when school is not in session. That leaves our school safety team with a lot of work to do after hours and a critical reason why we must fund this department and not risk losing burned out staff.
The following story came from one of our SJK volunteers but many others can repeat this:
“A few weeks ago, I was sitting at our school accountability meeting listening to our elementary school’s decision to add a half time mental health counselor to the staff, and I questioned whether that was a better use of limited funds than say a para or a gifted instructor. I couldn’t imagine that there were significant problems in that age group, and with the demographic that attends this school. I got treated to a well-deserved lecture on the issues, and I realized that I was woefully undereducated about this matter. I had absolutely no idea that that there were around 2,600 mental health risk situations last year in the district, starting with a heartbreaking two in Kindergarten.”
Following is a video from Safe2Tell, this explains how the program works and what the intention is. It starts with us and our students.
This is an anonymous service everyone can use. As a PTA volunteer, perhaps you have witnessed a concerning event and are worried about a student or a student confides something concerning to you. It happens all the time. The last thing you want to do is cause problems for the PTA or school but if you’re worried, tell an administrator or report your worry to Safe2Tell.
Our volunteer went to the Mental Health and Emotional Wellness public meeting organized by the Jefferson Unitarian Church on Monday March 13th. Kudos to this community partner for realizing the need and doing something to make a difference!
Also, more resources are available below:
Every student needs a warm, SAFE, and dry learning environment!