Schuette: OK2SAY Program Has Received Nearly 5,000 Tips

Contact: Andrea Bitely 517-373-8060

LANSING – Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced the release of the 2015 OK2SAY Annual Report. For the calendar year 2015, the OK2SAY program received a total of 2,169 tips in a variety of categories, including peer abuse, suicide, and cyberbullying. This brings the tips total for the OK2SAY program to nearly 5,000 in just two years.

OK2SAY was created as a result of the Student Safety Act and operates as an early warning system in Michigan schools to prevent tragedies before they occur. For the past two years, OK2SAY has provided students the opportunity to confidentially report potentially harmful or criminal activities 24 hours a day.

“The 2015 Annual Report showcases the significant and positive impact OK2SAY has had and will continue to have on Michigan students,” said Schuette. “The continued partnership between many groups keeps the program going, but more importantly it’s the students. They continue to step up and reach out when they hear something or see something. Students are really the heroes. Lives have been saved, school violence has been prevented, and many Michigan students have received the mental health services they needed.”

Fighting the Culture of Silence

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

According to the U.S. Secret Service, in 81% of violent incidents in U.S. schools, someone other than the attacker had knowledge of the attacker’s plan but failed to 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 is not about getting students in trouble; it is about getting them the help they need,” said Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etu, director of the Michigan State Police.

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 requires 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.

How to Submit a 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)

Email

Web

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