Senate Passes Bill To Create School Threat Reporting System

HARRISBURG – The State Senate today unanimously approved bipartisan legislation creating a new school threat monitoring system in an effort to help reduce school violence, according to Senator Jake Corman (R-34), who strongly supported the measure.

Corman said the Safe2Say Program would allow anonymous reporting of threats regarding unsafe, potentially harmful, dangerous, violent or criminal activities in schools.

“This commonsense measure will help to save lives by providing an avenue to report potential threats and other activity,” Corman said. “Students are more likely to bring these matters to the attention of the authorities if they can do so anonymously.”

Senate Bill 1142 was modeled after a similar system created in Colorado – the Safe2Tell program – following the tragic school shootings at Columbine High School in 1999. Since its inception, Colorado authorities have received more than 30,000 reports of potentially dangerous situations.

This legislation would require the Attorney General to administer the system and ensure the information can be sent to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and school officials for further investigation.

The Attorney General’s office would create the system, which would accept the anonymous complaints through a hotline, online, or an app. The program will cover emergency and non-emergency reports. It is not meant to replace 911 services, to be used as a disciplinary tool for school employees or as a law enforcement tool. And, there is a provision in the bill for persons knowingly or intentionally making a false report.

“At least five other states have created school safety programs like Safe2Say,” Corman said.  “We should move quickly to bring this important safety initiative to Pennsylvania.”

 CONTACT: Jenn Kocher (717) 787-1377 or jkocher@pasen.gov