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SPEAK UP

 

SPEAK UP is a national awareness and educational initiative providing students with tools to improve the safety of their schools and communities. Based on the fact that in 81% of school shootings the attackers tell other students about their plans beforehand, the SPEAK UP program empowers students to report threats of weapon-related violence.

SPEAK UP features the first-ever, national toll-free hotline for students to report threats of violence at school - 1-866-SPEAK-UP. The hotline is supported by a community-based education initiative featuring fully accredited lesson plans, educational wallet cards, posters and other materials, as well as a national awareness campaign including powerful public service announcements.

The SPEAK UP campaign includes:

  • 1-866-SPEAK-UP Hotline
    The centerpiece of the SPEAK UP program is 1-866-SPEAK-UP, the first-and-only national hotline for students to anonymously report weapon threats 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.  The hotline is operated in accordance with a rigid protocol developed in collaboration with national education and law enforcement authorities, including the FBI.  Trained counselors, with instant access to translators for 140 languages, collect information from callers and then immediately report the threat to appropriate school and law enforcement officials. The counselors also have access to an extensive database of local, city, and state referral sources, which they can offer callers who call with issues unrelated to school violence or weapon threats.  Since its launch in 2002, the hotline has received over 30,000 calls. View the 1-866-SPEAK-UP hotline protocol.
  • Text Messaging
    PAX has adopted a groundbreaking text messaging reporting mechanism as part of the comprehensive SPEAK UP solution, providing students with yet another opportunity to prevent violence by speaking up.  The text messages are received and handled according to the same proven protocols by the hotline response center.
  • Media Campaign
    Advertising and PR featuring a powerful national media campaign called "Signs," communicating that students can truly help prevent a tragedy by calling PAX's anonymous 1-866-SPEAK UP hotline if they see a "sign" of violence. View the public service announcements.
  • Youth Awareness Initiative
    For young people to feel safe reporting threats via the hotline, they need to be engaged in dialogue, encouraged to share their concerns, and reassured that calls are kept completely anonymous.  To meet this need, PAX has developed awareness materials to promote the hotline and empower students to call.  These include bilingual, teen-friendly posters, wallet cards, audio and video PSAs, t-shirts, and other materials.
  • Events
    The SPEAK UP message has been an essential component to countless events across the country, including National Safe Schools Week, in which PAX partners with several regional and national organizations every year to promote school safety.