September 8, 2020
LANSING – As schools embark on a new academic year, faculty, students and others face unique challenges due to COVID-19. But Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reminding everyone that Michigan’s student safety program, OK2SAY, remains in operation throughout the pandemic and is still a valuable resource to help keep students safe.
OK2SAY has been a violence prevention tool for more than six years, and the Attorney General’s office today began a social media campaign to remind everyone of the program’s important role in student safety.
“OK2SAY gives students the ability to report concerns directly, confidentially and with the understanding that caring adults will be involved and provide help,” said Nessel. “Let’s face it – students know, long before adults, what’s occurring in their school and community because they have witnessed the behavior in-person or online. OK2SAY gives students a voice to break the code of silence by equipping authorities with the information needed to respond to threats and avert tragedy.”
To minimize the spread of COVID-19, some schools are hosting classes remotely, and technology may be more heavily used by students, potentially opening the door wider to cyberbullying. Meanwhile, some students may feel more isolated from friends and classmates, which could cause feelings of anxiety or depression.
OK2SAY has received nearly 26,000 tips since the program was launched. Tips are submitted in 31 categories. The top five tip categories include: suicide threats, bullying, “other” (e.g., anxiety, depression, harassment, and stress), drugs and self-harm.
Update School Emergency Contact Information
Additionally, Attorney General Nessel and Michigan State Police Col. Joseph Gasper remind Michigan principals to fill out or update the online OK2SAY School Contact Form per Public Act 670 of 2018. This emergency after-hours contact information will allow OK2SAY technicians to efficiently communicate with school personnel about potential harm or criminal activities directed at school students, school employees and schools.
How To Submit a Tip
Tips can be submitted the following ways: