LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that February 2018 was a record breaking month for the OK2SAY student safety program. This brings the total number of tips received through OK2SAY to 11,899. In the month of February, OK2SAY received 670 tips, topping last October’s record of 560 tips. Suicide threats remained the number one most-reported tip, with 127; but the 119 planned school attack tips accounted for 18% of all total tips submitted in February, which was a substantial increase in this tip category.
“I worked to create OK2SAY so students have a way to report something wrong at school without fearing that others will retaliate. The OK2SAY app is where students are, on their phones and tablets,” said Schuette. “As Department of Attorney General OK2SAY team members present in more and more schools, tip numbers and mobile app users are increasing. We’ve heightened awareness about OK2SAY, and students are engaged now more than ever in a school safety program that works and has saved lives.”
About the OK2SAY program
OK2SAY is a student safety program that acts as an early warning system in Michigan schools to prevent tragedies before they occur. Launched by Schuette in 2014, the program encourages students to submit confidential tips to trained technicians regarding potential harm or threats 24/7. In February over 9,000 students heard an OK2SAY presentation; bringing the total number to nearly 460,000 students since the program’s inception in 2014. An additional 745 community members heard an OK2SAY program in February.
“I appreciate the continued support of the Michigan Legislature and the inclusion of OK2SAY funds in the Department of Attorney General budget for this coming year,” said Schuette. “OK2SAY is vital to school safety in Michigan, and every dollar dedicated to this initiative keeps Michigan kids safe.”
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 requires ongoing attention. This provides local entities an opportunity to illustrate that student safety threats are tracked and taken seriously.
• The 2016 Annual Report details the types and numbers of tips handled throughout the year. The 2017 Annual Report will be released this spring.
How to submit an OK2SAY tip
OK2SAY encourages confidential tips on criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employees, and 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.