On September 29, 1995, a fourteen-year old Tavares Middle School student was shot by another student. During the investigation it was determined that several students attending the Lake County school were aware of a conflict between the victim and shooter and yet never spoke with school administrators or resource officers. It was also discovered that several students were aware that the student had brought the gun to school. This incident was the catalyst brought about the development of the SpeakOut Hotline.
The intent of SpeakOut Hotline is to provide an anonymous venue for parents, students, teachers, school administrators, and law enforcement to share information.
Research shows that in 81% of violent incidents in U.S. schools, someone other than the attacker knew it was going to happen but failed to report it . Typically, the information goes unreported because of fear of being a 'snitch' or that the attacker will then target the informant, thereby creating a 'code of silence'.
To address this code of silence, SpeakOut Hotline was created as a Central Florida anonymous reporting tool available 24 hours a day to accept calls whenever a Central Florida students or concerned adult perceives a threat to their safety or the safety of others. Anonymity is guaranteed. Both state law and the procedures established by Crimeline (SpeakOut Hotline) guarantee the anonymity of every tipster. When immediate action is necessary, information is immediately forwarded to local school officials and law enforcement agencies, as appropriate. SpeakOut Hotline staff follows up with the school and law enforcement agencies which received the report to ensure that it was investigated, that action was taken and that the outcome was tracked. The assurance that calls cannot be traced and that appropriate action will be taken is helping persuade young people to move away from a code of silence and to take a stand. Safe2Tellô is creating positive peer pressure and empowering young people to keep their community safe.
Central Florida Crimeline Program, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The members of the Board are prominent Central Florida figures representing business, law enforcement and public school systems.
 US Secret Service and US Department of Education, The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative and Implications of School Attacks in the United States. May 2002, p.34.