Another year for OK2SAY student safety program - WNEM TV 5

Another year for OK2SAY student safety program

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MI A.G. Schuette announcing criminal charges in connection with the Flint water crisis. (Source: WNEM) MI A.G. Schuette announcing criminal charges in connection with the Flint water crisis. (Source: WNEM)
LANSING, MI (CBS) -

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today joined school officials in the western part of the state to kick off another school year for the OK2SAY student safety program.

OK2SAY acts as an early warning system in Michigan schools to prevent tragedies before they occur. Launched in 2014, the program encourages students to submit confidential tips trained technicians regarding potential harm or threats twenty-four hours per day.

“The OK2SAY program has far exceeded our expectations,” said Schuette. “I am pleased to be here in North Muskegon to help kick off OK2SAY for the 2016-2017 school year. The program is a success because students across Michigan have stepped up and spoken out.”

In two years, OK2SAY has received nearly 5,000 tips in more than 30 categories. Top tip categories include: peer abuse, cyberbullying, suicide, and self-harm.

“I am happy to welcome Attorney General and the OK2SAY team to North Muskegon High School today,” said North Muskegon Middle/High Principal Ken Byard. “As principal it is important to me that kids feel safe when they come to school. OK2SAY is a great resource for students to ensure that if they ever feel unsafe they have a way to report it and receive help.”

Through the more than 2,100 tips received in 2015, OK2SAY has saved lives, prevented school violence, and provided help to many Michigan students in need of mental health or social services. In the 2015 school year, OK2SAY technicians received 23 tips regarding planned school attacks; 7 tips regarding guns; and 396 tips regarding suicide threats.

“This program empowers students to stand up and say something if they hear something,” said Schuette. “Whether it is avoiding a potential shooting situation or helping a student who is planning to take their own life, the bottom line is OK2SAY saves lives. It is as simple as that and it is tangible proof it is working.”

OK2SAY is operated through a partnership between the Department of Attorney General, Michigan State Police, state agencies, schools, parents, law enforcement, and community leaders.

 A U.S. Secret Service study reported that in 81% of violent school incidents, someone other than the attacker knew about the plan but didn’t report it. OK2SAY discourages the persistent culture of silence among students who fear being labeled a snitch. It gives a voice to students who might otherwise remain silent out of fear of retaliation or rejection. 

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: 1-8-555-OK2SAY, 1-855-565-2729

Text: 652729 (OK2SAY)

Email: ok2say@mi.gov

Web: www.ok2say.com

OK2SAY Mobile App: Available for download in app stores for iPhone and Android.

Copyright 2016 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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