DOJ announces resource center to prevent school violence

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced that the Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of School Safety is launching the SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT (SUSO) Resource Center Wednesday, Sept. 2. 

Officials say SUSO is a 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,” Kaul said.

Sate Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said she wants Wisconsin schools to remain as one of the safest places for children.

“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," Taylor said.

According to a news release, students, parents, school staff, or any community members can submit a school safety concern or threat through the SUSO website, mobile phone application, or toll-free number. Staff works around-the-clock to respond to tips and deploy a response locally by communicating with school administrators, law enforcement, and counselors. 

Officials say the SUSO resource center can deploy critical response teams if a school is experiencing a critical incident, as well as provide a threat assessment consultation for school staff and law enforcement. They can also provide general school safety guidance including training and safety planning. 

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.

 The program is supported by more than $2 million in federal grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance, according to a news release.  

SUSO Reports can be made 24/7 online at speakup.widoj.gov or by phone 1-800-MY-SUSO-1 (1-800-697-8776).  


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