PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro discusses Safe2Say with North Hills students
Posted Friday, September 27, 2019
PITTSBURGH – Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro sat down with North Hills High School students Thursday for an open and honest discussion about the state’s new anonymous reporting system, Safe2Say Something.
Shapiro was joined by Safe2Say Something Program Director Brittney Kline for the roundtable discussion held in the LGI Room at the North Hills Middle School.
Launched by Shapiro’s office and adopted by the North Hills School District in January, Safe2Say Something allows anyone to submit secure and anonymous safety concerns to a 24/7 crisis center by phone, online or via mobile app.
Incidents that can be reported through Safe2Say include bullying, intimidation, harassment, weapons, drugs or other threats to schools.
Students also are encouraged to use the tip line to report vandalism, theft or information about crimes that are being planned, including comments posted on social media.
The roundtable included 20 North Hills High School students, five from each grade level. The students were selected by school administrators as a group that would best represent the student body.
Shapiro organized the informal meeting to get feedback about the program from those who use it most. North Hills was one of three schools to participate in similar listening tours at schools across the state.
“The most important thing is to hear from you,” Shapiro told the students. “I want your thoughts, good or bad, so we can try and address it and make it even better.”
He continued, “Unless politicians, unless government officials do a lot more listening to all of you, we’re not going to be able to meet the changes that you all face.”
The dialogue included everything from the types of tips received by Safe2Say, how they’re handled and who receives them, to how the system is perceived by students and suggestions for improvement.
The discussion also touched on mental health issues, the ever-growing presence of vaping in the schools and the anonymity of the system.
“Everything is completely anonymous and it is completely anonymous,” Kline assured students. “No one knows who submitted that tip, including our [crisis center] analysts. We don’t see anything related to a phone or anything like that. We don’t know who you are unless you provide your name.”
Since its launch, Safe2Say has received nearly 28,000 tips statewide.
Tips are received by analysts who review and then refer them to designated school contacts and law enforcement as needed.
Tips can be submitted online at www.safe2saypa.org/tip, by calling 1-844-SAF2SAY (1-844-723-2729) or through a mobile app.