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.
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