A school in Colorado was evacuated Tuesday after authorities learned of a bomb threat through the Safe2Tell app.
After the Columbine shooting in 1999, Colorado worked to develop the Safe2Tell Colorado tip line, where anyone can report threats against schools. The tip line’s mobile app is what helped to keep Niwot High School safe on Tuesday.
“We received Safe2Tell Reports concerning a bomb threat at Niwot HS,” the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter.
“All students and staff are safe, however, out of an abundance of caution, we have evacuated Niwot HS and will be assisting with reunification. We are working very closely with St. Vrain Valley Schools to investigate this threat.”
What is Safe2Tell Colorado?
The idea of the app is to provide a truly anonymous space where anyone can submit tips regarding violence in Colorado schools, Lawrence Pacheco, director of communications for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, explained to CNN. The threats are set up in categories and last year the top ones were drugs, bullying and suicide.
“It’s been a successful program in reducing violence… and threats towards the school,” Pacheco said. “Since the inception of the program we have had over 65,000 tips reported.”
Safe2Tell Colorado was able to get both laws and procedures in place to guarantee the anonymity of every reporter and the tips have been monitored by the state attorney general’s office since 2014.
Last year, the program saw a record number of reports and had over 19,000 actionable tips.
“It will continue to grow as students are empowered to break the code of silence and share information that will lead to intervening or curtailing violence at their school,” Pacheco said.
The program has gotten national attention and other states are looking to adopt their own models.