Wisconsin Department of Justice
Press Release

Office of School Safety Releases Speak Up, Speak Out Annual Report

September 26, 2022

By - Sep 26th, 2022 09:29 am

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of School Safety (OSS) today released the 2021-2022 Annual Report for Speak Up, Speak Out (SUSO). SUSO is a statewide confidential reporting system designed to be a safe place for students, school staff, and community members to share information concerning potential school violence.

“SUSO has been a huge success,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “With funding from the legislature in the next state budget, we can ensure that this program and our Office of School Safety will be able to continue their great work keeping kids in Wisconsin safe for the long term.”

Since its inception on September 1, 2020, the SUSO tip line has received more than 4,000 tips. SUSO saw a 15.2 percent increase in tips during the second year of operation. Bullying and suicide threats were the two most reported tips to SUSO during the 2021-2022 school year. SUSO received 136 potentially life-saving tips in the last school year.

SUSO aims to promote the reporting of concerns before violence happens. Recently SUSO received more than 70 tips in one night for 8 different Wisconsin schools all referencing the same image on social media. The tipsters all shared concerns that the image alluded to a planned school attack or bringing weapons to school. SUSO analysts were able to notify all stakeholders of the tips and provide resources on how to evaluate anonymous threats as well as offer support to every impacted school. The large scale of tips received in this incident indicates a healthy reporting culture.

Every tip provided to SUSO requires school or law enforcement partners to complete a disposition report detailing the outcome of the tip. On average, tips were resolved in 3.1 days. The most common tip outcomes were “parents notified” and “school disciplinary action.” However, more than one outcome can occur as a response to a tip.

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.

SUSO Reports can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

Learn more about the SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT Resource Center here.

OSS was initially supported by more than $2 million in federal grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance. OSS is currently supported by more than $1.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding which will end in December of 2023. DOJ will be requesting the legislature permanently fund OSS in the next biennial budget.

View the release here.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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