Lawmakers push to make Safe2Tell hotline attorney general’s responsibility
Craig — A bill that would take Safe2Tell — a program that provides a hotline for K-12 students to call or text authorities if they feel threatened or bullied — out of the nonprofit sector and places it within the Colorado Attorney General’s office is moving smoothly through the legislative process.
On Thursday, the bill was referred to the appropriations committee unamended.
Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, said he is a sponsor of the legislation because he would have used the program when he was in school and because he wants it available to his own children.
“As a parent of kids in school and as a legislator, and frankly as someone who went through school that saw things happen and really didn’t feel comfortable with what I had seen, I got to tell you, I probably would have used this myself,” he said. “It’s such a bargain, when you think of what we spend on our kids. For 30 cents a kid per year, it’s a pretty good value.”
The program has been in the nonprofit sector and struggling to meet funding needs each year, Cadman said.
If passed, this bill would eliminate the need for chasing grants.
The program currently gives students an outlet to call or text if they feel threatened from bullying or are concerned about a violent peer.
“It’s been successful in providing an avenue that provides people with the (opportunity) to identify situations that are life threatening or otherwise threatening to kids in our school,” he said. “The great thing about this program is that it’s been proven to be successful.”
The budget of the program would be comparable to what it has been, Cadman said. The program wouldn’t change at all but just would be given financial legs to stand on.
“It’s basically one of the most successful pilot programs I’ve seen,” he said. “The bottom line is that it’s a program that’s provided an incredible level of security and safety for kids in our schools.”
Moffat County School District Superintendent Joe Petrone couldn’t comment on how the bill would change the Safe2Tell program but said that he supports it as it exists.
“We’ve been supporting it for all the years I’ve been here and continue to support it. We’re very eager to understand the changes that come,” he said.
Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or efenner@CraigDailyPress.com.
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