LANSING, MI – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today encourages the Senate Education Committee to vote to continue Michigan’s student safety initiative, OK2SAY. Senate Bill 267, introduced by Senator Judy Emmons, would remove the Student Safety Act sunset.
The program has already received more than 7,300 tips; 1,200 tips in just the first three months of 2017.
“The results of this program are incredible,” Schuette said. “More students feel empowered to break the code of silence and speak up with the help of OK2SAY, stopping a situation from turning into a tragedy. With the help of the Michigan State Police, schools, local law enforcement, and others, OK2SAY is saving lives by giving students a place to turn for help. We must ensure OK2SAY continues to be there for Michigan students.”
In 2016, OK2SAY received 3,359 tips—up nearly 55% from 2015. Tips were received in 29 of 30 tip categories including:
- 800 tips on bullying;
- 569 tips on suicide threats;
- 480 tips in the “other” category (e.g. anxiety, stress, depression, harassment);
- 307 tips on self-harm; and
- 279 tips on cyberbullying.
The Key Features of OK2SAY
- Confidential Reporting: State law protects the confidentiality of the reporter’s identity. The identity of the reporting party will not be disclosed to local law enforcement, school officials, or the person about whom a tip is offered, unless the reporter voluntarily chooses to disclose his or her identity. If the reporter is a minor, the parent or guardian must also consent.
- Comprehensive Technology: Anyone can confidentially submit tips 24/7 using any of the five tip methods detailed below. Multi-media attachments like photos, videos, and links to additional information are encouraged.
- Coordinated Intervention: Upon receipt of a tip, specially trained OK2SAY technicians at the Michigan State Police screen and forward tips to an appropriate responding agency including: local law enforcement, schools, local community mental health organizations, or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
- Accountability: Each responding organization is asked to complete an Outcome Report detailing the nature of the tip, how the tip was handled, and whether the tip situation was resolved or required ongoing attention. This provides local entities an opportunity to illustrate that student safety threats are tracked and taken seriously. The 2015 Annual Report details the types and numbers of tips handled throughout the year.
For more information about the program, please visit the OK2SAY website.
How to Submit an OK2SAY Tip
OK2SAY encourages confidential tips on criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employees, or schools. Tips can be submitted through the following ways:
Call: 8-555-OK2SAY, 855-565-2729
Text: 652729 (OK2SAY)
OK2SAY Mobile App: Available for download in app stores for iPhone and Android.