Safe2Tell Hotline

The Safe2Tell Hotline – developed in response to recommendations from the Columbine Commission’s report and The Trust’s Safe Communities~Safe Schools initiative – provides students in all Colorado schools an increased ability to both prevent and report instances that compromise their health, safety and well-being by making anonymous calls to 1-877-542-SAFE. Last year, as a result of calls made to the Safe2Tell Hotline, law enforcement, mental health counselors and school personnel intervened in over 400 instances, including interventions that directly resulted in the prevention of 41 suicides, recovery of 54 weapons, response to 62 substance abuse calls and 19 threats of planned school attacks.

In 2007, The Colorado Trust’s first annual John R. Moran, Jr. Grantee Leadership Award was awarded to the Safe2Tell program. The $25,000 award – created in honor of The Trust’s former, long-time CEO – recognizes exemplary leadership by a current Trust grantee. In presenting the award, Trust CEO Irene M. Ibarra noted that, “Not only has this small, but powerful organization averted and resolved numerous violent situations across Colorado, school administrators and law enforcement officials in over a dozen other states also are looking at how to replicate early successes of the Safe2Tell program.” The presentation of the award was made during a ceremony at the State Capitol when Governor Ritter signed into law Senate Bill 07-197, which guarantees the anonymity of callers to the Safe2Tell Hotline.

Paying it Forward

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Megan Black knew she was doing the right thing when she told adults that a friend was washing down pills with alcohol. “I didn’t want to go to a friend’s funeral. So, I told on her. Then, everybody started turning against me,’’ said Megan, now a senior at Brush High School.

A gaggle of girls, who used to be her friends, shut her out. In the hallways, instead of greeting her warmly like they once had, they shot her stinging glances. Her cell phone rang constantly, but the callers always hung up.

Megan suffered alone for months, then finally told a school counselor that she was depressed and contemplating suicide because the bullying was so painful. The counselor linked Megan with Safe2Tell, a program that provides students in all Colorado schools the ability to both prevent and report violence by making anonymous calls to 1-877-542-SAFE.

Megan eventually told her story to parents in Brush so they could rally behind the program. At first, she was nervous about speaking in public, but she soon found that the more she talked, the less she focused on her pain.

Now a spokeswoman for Safe2Tell, Megan lets parents, school officials and donors know how the program saved her life. “When you are going through bullying, you lose a lot of friends. It’s a relief to have someone to call, someone who will listen. They’re going to help you solve your problems and make it stop.”