September 28, 2022
Dear Field School families,
Last school year the nation witnessed two national tragedies in Ulvade, Texas and Oxford, Michigan. Student safety remains our priority at Field. We want to continue to provide a safe learning environment and resources to help our parents, teachers, students, and staff be successful.
This school year our school district will begin participating in a new statewide school safety program called Safe2Help Illinois. This program will offer students a safe and confidential way to share information that may help prevent suicides, bullying, school violence, and other threats to student safety. The program also includes an educational curriculum aimed at fostering a culture of kindness and resources for educators and parents to reinforce the program concepts with their students.
Safe2Help Illinois features a 24/7 helpline (1-844-4-SAFEIL), free mobile app, and dedicated website (www.Safe2Helpil.com). In the absence of a trusted adult, students can use Safe2Help Illinois to share concerns about themselves or others in a confidential environment. Once vetted, the information will be immediately shared with local school officials, 911 call centers/Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) depending on the nature of the tip. It is important to note that this program is not intended to punish, suspend or expel students. Rather, the intent is to encourage students to “seek help before harm,” with the goal of intervening and helping students before they harm themselves or others.
The most common reports received by Safe2Help Illinois in the 2021-2022 school year have been bullying and threats of suicide. This sobering information underscores the importance of making sure our students have the resources they need in a time of need. We also believe Safe2Help Illinois has the potential to be effective in preventing acts of school violence. Over the last 15 years, in almost every case of a mass school shooting in the U.S. committed by a student, after action reports indicate at least one other student knew something might happen but did not come forward for a variety of reasons.
Long-term goals of Safe2Help Illinois are to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues, promote a culture of kindness, and instill important lessons such as the difference between telling and tattling, internet safety, and suicide prevention.
I would encourage you to check out Safe2HelpIL website and discuss it with your students.
Field School Principal