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Safe 2 Tell Saves Lives

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CODY, Wyo. -

Colorado and southern Wyoming have been using it.  Now a new tool against suicide and school violence has come to northwest Wyoming. It’s called Safe 2 Tell.  The confidential reporting system may have already saved lives in Cody.

Three Cody women recently told us their tragic stories of loss to suicide. 

David Bank’s Mother, Debra Bank said her college age son,  “….left a note and his car keys on our front step and then he went and took his life.”

The women have started a new movement to remove the stigma associated with mental illness. It’s called, “Stop the Stigma, Be the Light.”

Now Wyoming officials are giving students, teachers, and even strangers a new tool to prevent suicide, bullying, and school violence.  It’s called “Safe 2 Tell.”   The system is simple: Anyone who knows someone else is planning suicide, or violence in the school, can call, text, or email the State Patrol, and remain completely anonymous.

Cody Schools Safety and Security Coordinator Mark Cozzens pointed out, “Casper, Natrona…they’ve had over a hundred calls on it.”

Cozzens said they’ve gotten three calls from Cody high school in a couple of weeks.

 He remarked, “It’s called an ID number that they give you, and a passcode.  And that’s yours. They won’t take any personal information off of the reporter.”

Powell’s superintendent was on the state’s task force that chose “Safe 2 Tell” to replace another reporting system.

Kevin Mitchell said, “If we do a really good job of advertising and marketing this tool that we have, we can start bridging that gap and really truly listening to students.”

The Park County Sheriff’s office press release says Safe 2 Tell was developed in Colorado, after two Columbine High School students killed 12 students and one teaches. Investigators later discovered several other students knew about the killers’ plans.

Cody Chief of Police Chuck Baker said, “There is a strong belief that if some form of communications system had been available when Columbine occurred, that they may have been able to prevent that.”

Baker came to Cody from Colorado. He was a first responder at Columbine, and saw the bodies of the victims after the shootings. We asked if he thinks a reporting system like Safe 2 Tell might have prevented the Columbine shootings.

Baker answered, “I do.”

The toll free number to reports concerns is 844 WYO SAFE.  The website address for Safe2Tell is: http://www.safe2tellwy.org/

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