Pa. Attorney General Josh Shapiro has launched the Safe2Say Something tip line
throughout the state. The youth violence prevention program teaches people how to recognize signs of when young people may be threats to themselves or others. We will be training our students and staff in the coming months and distributing information as it becomes available through the AG’s office.
However, we also wanted to remind everyone of the other mechanisms that are already in place for people in crisis and those who have concerns regarding potential violence.
1. STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO SPEAK WITH A TRUSTED ADULT AT HOME AND/OR AT SCHOOL
We continue to work with all students to promote their awareness and confidence in talking immediately and directly with a trusted adult. We have excellent school counselors in each of our four buildings who are trained to deal with emergency situations. We also boast an exceptionally caring professional staff which are always willing to support their students. Anyone can call their school’s principal or report a potential threat, suicidal threat or other concerns to any staff member. Our students regularly talk to our professional staff us about friends and classmates where a concern may exist and we are sincerely grateful for their input. Parents have also reached out to school officials with concerns that they might hear through their children or others. This direct reporting to a trusted adult is one of the key practices to promote a safe environment. This information allows us to begin investigating and/or referring directly to the police or other supports.
2. DIRECTLY REPORT A POTENTIAL CONCERN TO THE WEST DEER POLICE DEPARTMENT OR YOUR LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT
For immediate involvement of law enforcement, call the West Deep Police Department at 724-265-1100. For emergencies, call the county 911 dispatch center. When appropriate, the local law enforcement agencies will work in collaboration with the school district.
It is imperative that each of our students thoroughly understands that words have consequences and that all threats will be treated as serious threats until otherwise determined. It is unacceptable for a student to make a threatening comment and then, after being confronted with it, claim they were just joking or using hyperbole. Threats of all varieties simply cannot and will not be tolerated in a school setting. Consequences for inappropriate and/or threatening statements will exist at the school and possibly at the law enforcement level as well.
3. THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA LAUNCHED THE SAFE2SAY SOMETHING PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES 5-12
This program allows one to report a secure and anonymous safety concern to help identify and intervene upon at-risk individuals before they hurt themselves and/or others. The program is mandated by Act 44 of 2018 and requires all K-12 schools districts to participate. A phone number, smartphone app, and web-based application are options for reporting. These reports will be triaged by the Crisis Center at the Office of the Attorney General. A communication process is then initiated to the county 911 dispatch center and a set of pre-identified school district officials. The West Deer Police Department will then be involved in the threat assessment process and any potential investigations