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Is Pennsylvania's Safe2Say Something program working? | FOX43 Finds Out

Pennsylvania's Safe2Say program has received more tips each year since it started back in 2018. FOX43 Finds Out if the program is working to prevent school violence.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — When school-aged kids are having mental health issues, it can be confusing. Sometimes, they don't know who to reach out to for help or even if what they're going through is worthy of intervention.

Pennsylvania has an anonymous tool that aims to be the first line of defense with the goal of keeping all students safe.

FOX43 Finds Out if the Safe2Say Something program is working.

"We know for a fact that we have prevented suicides of students," said Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry.

The AG says the Safe2Say Something program has grown each year since the AG's office started it back in 2018. Students, parents, and teachers can submit anonymous tips about people who may be a threat to themselves or others. It started as a way to prevent a tragedy, like a school shooting.

Henry said, "I can say with confidence that we've absolutely stopped the violence."

Last year, there were more than 25,000 tips with an already 250% increase already this year. The highest number of reports comes from bullying.

"Bullying really ties in with potential harm. Maybe not today, maybe not next week, but maybe two months from now if there isn't intervention," said Henry,

Last year, more than 3,000 tips came from school districts in south central PA. Once that tip is submitted, it's vetted by an analyst and then sent to someone trained to deal with the issue.

Henry said, "The reports that we've gotten back from the school districts have been 'We would have not known that this student was suffering or in crisis or needed attention, but for the safe 2 say tip that either came in through a self-report or through a friend.'"

The Attorney General wants more money for the program because it's been so successful. She's asking for a 17% increase in funding in the state budget, hoping to hire two additional analysts and some technology upgrades. Currently, the Safe2Say program has 8 analysts and 2 supervisors. 

If you have a story you want Jackie De Tore to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com. 

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