Wisconsin ‘Speak Up, Speak Out’ Tip Line Received Record Number of Tips Last Year

Despite the 95% increase in anonymous tips received by “Speak Up, Speak Out,” Wisconsin lawmakers continue to refuse to fund it for next year.

Madison, Wisconsin – The anonymous tip line that Wisconsin students, parents, and other community members can use to confidentially report their concerns about potential school violence and health concerns received 95% more tips in the 2022-2023 school year than in the previous year.

The 24/7 tip line — called “Speak Up, Speak Out” (SUSO) — was launched by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of School Safety (OSS) in September 2020, reports NBC15. Since it started, the volume of tips has increased 136%. According to the Wisconsin DOJ, SUSO has receipt more than 7,500 tips, and 3,754 of those tips were received last year.

Despite the tip line’s success, Wisconsin lawmakers have refused to fund the Wisconsin DOJ OSS, which runs SUSO. If lawmakers don’t pass a separate bill to fund it, the 2023-2024 academic year will be the last year the tip line will exist, OSS Director Trish Kilpin told NBC15.

Back in June, school safety advocates from across the nation renewed their efforts to pressure Wisconsin lawmakers to adequately fund OSS, but to no avail.

Many other states, such as Oregon, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wyoming, have anonymous tip lines so students, parents, teachers, and the general public can share information about potential violence, as well as mental health issues. Michigan’s OK2SAY school violence prevention tip line received 7,415 tips in 2022, a 19% increase from the year before and nearly double the tips received in 2020.

Although anonymous school tip lines were originally created to prevent school shootings, more often they are used to report threats of suicide or self-harm, Campus Safety previously reported.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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