Safe2Tell can be used by elementary students

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- With kids back in school, so are dangers. District 51 and Mesa County Public Health want to make sure kids know how to report them.

They want them to know about Safe2Tell: An anonymous tip line that students can use to talk to someone about bullying, or other social issues.

"Safe2Tell really came out of the Columbine Shootings, making sure that people have access to resources," said Program Integration Manager for Mesa Couty Public Health, Sarah Robinson.

"In a tough situation, if they are not comfortable talking to an adult face to face, then they have an anonymous way to help their friends out," said D51 Mental Health and Crisis Coordinator, Katie Garner.

High school and middle school kids already use it. Now, the district is moving toward elementary schools.

"Really trying to get those numbers up across the board versus it just being seen as a middle and high school tool," Garner said.

It gives kids a way to speak up in a comfortable way.

"Sometimes kids don't always know what to do when they hear information or they learn about something or they see something in their school or in their home," Robinson said.

"Kids have this whole idea that, 'I can't tell I don't want to get in trouble.' So, it's breaking that cone of silence. As a parent, I want my son to talk to me all the time, but sometimes, kids aren't comfortable talking with their parents," Garner said.

But the system works best if parents are involved as well.

"We really want their parents to know who their kids are calling, why their kids are calling, and ideally, talk to them about those issues that are coming up in their lives," Robinson said.

Even though it's early, its good to teach young kids how they can be heard.

"The behaviors we start in elementary school are going to help them in middle school and high school. Reach out to adults and continue reaching out to adults, when they run into a situation they are uncomfortable with," Robinson said.

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