School Board Votes to Delay Implementation of Safe2Say Program

Act 44, signed into law by Governor Tom Wold on June 22nd, 2018, established several new sections of the Pennsylvania Public School Code of 1949, including creating a statewide anonymous reporting system. According to The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, "Safe2Say will be a 24/7 anonymous tip line for school safety. Information received will be forwarded to effected school entity and law enforcement. School entities must develop procedures for assessing and responding to reports."

The District is deeply committed to keeping students safe, but knows this must be done thoughtfully and intentionally. The District has concerns about the approach this law takes in addressing safety concerns. Since the system uses anonymous online reporting, it discourages personal interactions, responsible reporting, and may further erode the established relationships between students and District personnel. The implementation of similar systems, such as Colorado's Safe2Tell program has resulted in abuses of the system, including using the tip line as a means to bully other students and infringement of students' personal rights and privacy. The District believes that the program has been implemented without necessary training, infrastructure, and safety. In light of these significant concerns, the District Board of Directors has voted unanimously on January 9th to delay the implementation of the Safe2Say program in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District and has asked the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to consider legislative amendments to Act 44 to address the shortcomings of the law in its current form.