MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of School Safety (OSS) is launching the SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT (SUSO) Resource Center – a comprehensive, one-stop place to turn with important school safety concerns. It offers a 24/7 threat reporting system, threat assessment consultation, critical incident response, and general school safety guidance.
“This new, free 24/7 school safety tool is available to support school communities across the state in preventing school violence. Whether students are concerned for their own safety or the safety of others, Speak Up, Speak Out can assist them in getting the help they need,” said Attorney General Kaul.
“Our schools have been one of the safest places for our children, and I want that to always be the case,” State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said. “As we start the new school year, whether it be in-person, virtual, or hybrid learning, the Speak Up Speak Out tip line will be a valuable resource for students with school safety concerns when they may not have as much one-to-one access to trusted adults.”
Students, parents, school staff, or any community members can submit a school safety concern or threat via the SUSO website, mobile phone application, or toll-free number. Resource Center staff work around-the-clock to respond to tips and to deploy a response locally by communicating directly with school administrators, law enforcement, and counselors. Nationwide, more than half of public middle and high schools now operate similar safety tiplines.[i]
The analysts in the SUSO resource center will also be able to deploy critical incident response teams if a school is experiencing a critical incident; provide a threat assessment consultation for school staff and law enforcement; or provide general school safety guidance including training, safety planning, and other topics.
Created to Meet a Critical Need
SUSO was initially created at the direction and approval of the OSS Advisory Committee, a multidisciplinary committee that statutorily requires participation from DPI, Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Association, Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Center, and also includes students, legislators, Wisconsin Rural School Alliance, law enforcement, Wisconsin Council of Religious & Independent Schools, and many others.
Since June 2020, OSS has been working with law enforcement, educators, and schools across the state to educate and train school safety professionals how to use SUSO in their schools. Additionally, schools that received OSS round-two grant funding in 2018 – nearly 600 schools – are required to utilize SUSO in their schools by the end of the grant period (December 2020).”
This program is supported by more than $2 million in federal grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance.
SUSO Reports can be made 24/7:
Learn more about the SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT Resource Center:
- Website: https://speakup.widoj.gov/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/SpeakUpWI