Frequently Asked Questions
- What is OK2SAY?
OK2SAY is a student safety program that allows anyone to confidentially report tips on potential harm or criminal activities directed at school students, school employees, and schools. OK2SAY is a nationally recognized program giving students the tools to step up and speak out when they are concerned about their safety or the safety of another.
- How can tips be submitted?
Tips can be submitted 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week.
- Telephone: 8-555-OK2SAY (855-565-2729)
- Text: 652729 (OK2SAY)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: ok2say.com
- Mobile app: Available in the app stores for iPhone and Android devices
Multimedia attachments and links to additional information are encouraged.
- Who can submit a tip?
Anyone can submit a tip to OK2SAY. OK2SAY accepts tips from students, parents, school personnel, and concerned citizens.
- Is OK2SAY a statewide service?
Yes, OK2SAY is a reporting mechanism for the entire state of Michigan. OK2SAY accepts tips concerning any public or private schools in Michigan, kindergarten - 12th grade. We take reports occurring on school property, at a school event, on the school bus, at the bus stop, and on the way to and from school.
- What are OK2SAY's hours of operation?
Tips can be submitted to OK2SAY 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week.
- How does the process work?
Initial tips will be fielded by Michigan State Police OK2SAY technicians trained to receive, analyze, and disseminate tip information to local law enforcement agencies, school officials, community mental health service programs, or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for a timely response.
Tip content and circumstances fluctuate, so appropriate follow-up action will also vary. Some situations require that tips be sent to more than one entity. Cases of immediate life threats or crimes in progress are routed through local law enforcement.
Tips that are not emergencies are directly sent to a school administrator for an appropriate response. School officials may conduct a joint investigation with law enforcement or handle the concern separately depending on local protocols.
School officials and behavioral health professionals can intervene and offer supports to students struggling.
Schools will have the responsibility to complete an Outcome Report detailing the action taken, how the tip was handled, whether it was resolved, or whether it requires ongoing attention. Outcome Report provide local entities with an opportunity to show they take student safety threats seriously and track them.
- OK2SAY Tip Flowchart | Michigan State Police, Live 24/7
- How quickly does OK2SAY forward a tip?
The speed of the response depends on the seriousness of the tip - life safety is given priority.
If a tip has all the relevant details, OK2SAY can act within minutes. Since many tips are submitted after the school is closed for the day, the specially trained OK2SAY technician will address the immediate need and if the student is not in immediate danger, the tip information will be shared the next school business day.
If the threat involves life safety or crimes in progress and OK2SAY cannot get a hold of someone at the school (e.g., the tip comes in after the school is closed), local law enforcement will be notified, and a wellness check will be completed.
- Does the tipster have to give their name?
No, tipsters never have to leave their name. A tipster must provide a phone number or email address.
- How does OK2SAY help prevent harmful student-related behavior?
OK2SAY gives students the tool to break the culture of silence and connect with adult authorities who can help. Threats of retaliation and stigmatization often discourage students from reporting the dangerous behaviors of their peers.
OK2SAY aims to eliminate this culture of silence by providing a confidential, collaborative communication system where students and authorities can work together to respond to safety threats.
- What happens to the tip if the individual reporting is threatening to hurt themselves?
OK2SAY technicians address the immediate need, and as necessary, forward the call to the appropriate responding agency. Tips that indicate the need for immediate intervention are sent directly to law enforcement for emergency response. Tips that are not emergencies are directly sent to the school for an appropriate response.
- How does confidentiality work? Who is informed when a tip is received? What information is shared? With whom?
OK2SAY is a confidential communication system in which the identity of the tipster is statutorily protected. Initial tips will be fielded by OK2SAY technicians trained to filter the information to local law enforcement agencies, school officials, community mental health service programs, or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for a timely response. The identity of the tipster can only be released if permission is granted by the tipster, the tipster's parents (if he/she is a minor), or through a court order. This information is also specifically exempt from the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.
- Who keeps records of the tips that are submitted? Will schools need to hire more staff?
The Michigan State Police maintains tip records. Schools and community mental health service programs will not need to hire additional staff members to maintain these records. To promote program accountability, existing school personnel (likely the OK2SAY contact designee), local law enforcement, or community mental health service personnel will be asked to submit outcome reports detailing how incidents are handled
- How is the validity of a tip established? Is there a filtering system in place to prevent program abuse?
OK2SAY is a resource that individuals must use responsibly. Practical jokes and prank tips will not be tolerated. The program will remind users that reporting a tip is a serious action that will result in a response from the appropriate authorities. OK2SAY technicians use their professional expertise to assess the validity of reports and determine whether further action is appropriate.
- What happens to the tip if the individual reporting is threatening to hurt him/herself?
OK2SAY technicians address the immediate need, and as necessary, forward the call to the appropriate responding agency. The technicians are specifically trained to recognize mental illness and emotional disturbances and manage crisis situations. All psychiatric emergencies are additionally referred to the appropriate Community Mental Health Services psychiatric crisis line. Law enforcement may be called to conduct a welfare check.
- What happens if a student intentionally pranks OK2SAY?
Filing a false report to mislead the police could be considered an obstruction of justice. If the prosecuting attorney for a local unit of government has reason to believe that a report or other information provided to OK2SAY was falsely provided, that prosecuting attorney may petition the court to disclose the report or information, including any identifying information.
If the court determines that there is reason to believe that the report or information may have been falsely provided, the court may order the disclosure of the report or information, including any identifying information.
- Will OK2SAY provide me with the name of the tipster?
No, the Student Safety Act generally prohibits disclosure of tipster identity. The identity of the tipster can only be released if permission is granted by the tipster, the tipster's parents (if he/she is a minor), or through a court order. This information is also specifically exempt from the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.
- Am I allowed to contact or interview the suspect or subject in the report, since confidentiality is protected by Michigan state law?
Yes. Individuals listed in the report who need intervention may be contacted, interviewed, investigated, etc. as appropriately determined by the designated school representative, law enforcement officer, or involved community agency.
- When I investigate the tip, should I notify the suspect or subject in the report that an OK2SAY tip has been made?
It is not necessary to articulate that an OK2SAY tip has been received. OK2SAY wants the tipster to feel their information is kept private and confidential.
- What is the role of schools?
OK2SAY is an early warning system, not a determination of fact; all reports from OK2SAY must still be investigated by the school administration (as with bullying) or school or local law enforcement (as with allegations of criminal acts).
In most cases, the most effective intervention for the student is realizing that an adult in their life notices, cares, and is aware. Consider some suggestions of possible actions for obtaining a positive outcome:
- Immediate Intervention - Many OK2SAY tips save lives. Take all threats seriously and be prepared to suggest helpful outside resources in your area for students in crisis.
- Counseling - Speak with students on an individual basis; counseling large groups can be ineffective, leading to further intimidation/bullying. Strive for solution-based outcomes.
- Notify Parents - Communicate with the parents, both the victim and/or the student causing harm, so they are aware of the tip situation and can respond accordingly.
- Multidisciplinary Team - Bring together professionals from within and beyond the school to assess the situation and/or conduct a behavioral threat assessment.
- Monitoring Situation with Awareness - Seek to personally observe the noted behavior, particularly in situations where students assume the adults are not aware of the reported actions.
- School Discipline - Any behavior that violates school or district policies should be met with the appropriate disciplinary procedures, including conducting threat and suicide assessments when appropriate.
- Citation/Arrest - When a report is crime-related, it will be at the prerogative of local law enforcement to determine the appropriate action.
- Referral - A referral to another local agency, such as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Community Mental Health, etc. is proper and acceptable.
Tips are considered resolved when an Outcome Report is filed detailing the action taken by law enforcement or school officials in response to a threat.
- Does this change how our school handles safety issues or follows up on safety-related incidents?
No. OK2SAY is just another way for information to come to the attention of the school and support your existing practices, policies, and initiatives. OK2SAY encourages schools to leverage the program as part of their overall school safety plan.
- What if there is not enough information in an OK2SAY tip for a follow-up?
The OK2SAY technicians are trained to open the lines of communication with the tipster. They ask all the pertinent questions to the tipster including who, what, why, where, how, when - to forward the necessary information. They also will ask for a screenshot or images pertinent to the tip. Occasionally a tipster does not provide all the information. OK2SAY technician will exhaust other avenues to try and obtain pertinent information. Even with limited information, OK2SAY will still pass on the tip information.
- What if I received a tip about a student that does not attend our school?
If a student does not attend your school, please let OK2SAY know.
- Can I ask OK2SAY to reach out to the tipster if I want to ask additional questions?
Yes. You may ask an OK2SAY technician to reach out to the tipster and request additional information. OK2SAY will provide you with all updates.
- Who keeps records of the tips that are submitted?
The Michigan State Police maintains tip records. To promote program accountability, existing school personnel (likely the OK2SAY contact designee), local law enforcement, or community mental health service personnel will be asked to submit an outcome report detailing how the incident was handled. Before submitting the report, you can print a copy of it.
- To what extent are parents involved in responding to potential threats?
While the identity of the person submitting the tip will remain confidential, the parents of the victim and the student causing harm can be notified of the existence of a potential threat if the situation demands that they are contacted.
- What is the appropriate response to incidents that are reported outside school hours (i.e. evenings, summer vacation, etc.) or off school property (i.e. sporting events, field trips, etc.)?
OK2SAY operates 24/7 which means tips will frequently be submitted during times when school is not in session. In these instances, law enforcement officials will either respond directly to the threat or coordinate with a school's designated emergency contact to respond appropriately. The same would be similar for tips that report behaviors taking place off school property.
- What about the Federal Educational Records Privacy Act?
Federal Educational Records Privacy Act (FERPA) provides an exception to allow for communication before a notification to the parent (or student if the student is 18 or older) when the communication is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student. Information received and shared within the OK2SAY is by law confidential; it is not a student's educational record.
- If the OK2SAY tip involves a report of substantiated school violence, do I still need to complete a School Safety Incident Report?
Yes. A report is still required for Public Act 551 of 2018.
- What is the role of law enforcement?
When law enforcement receives a tip, they will decide how to handle the matter. Ideally, law enforcement will investigate the situation with the goal of prevention and intervention. They may also communicate directly with school administrators to ensure key personnel is apprised of the situation and/or coordination can take place.
- What is the role of students?
The role of students is to stand up and speak up for themselves and their friends. Students can take charge of school safety and climate by bringing concerns to trusted adults - face to face or through OK2SAY when school is not in session or confidential reporting is preferred.
- Is there a fee for schools to participate in OK2SAY?
OK2SAY is a student safety program. There are no fees for any Michigan school - public or non-public schools.
- Is the OK2SAY program working?
Yes, OK2SAY has been very successful because once the appropriate responding parties receive the tip information, they take action to eliminate the threat. Instances of peer mistreatment have been addressed, weapons have been removed from schools, and students harming themselves or threatening suicide are receiving the support they need. Go to OK2SAY Monthly and Cumulative Program Statistics for updated information.
- How can my school participate?
- Register biannually at least one school official's emergency after-hours contact information with the OK2SAY. Michigan law requires every public and nonpublic school to register. The emergency after-hours contact information is kept confidential and accessed only if there is an after-hours emergency involving imminent danger to the safety or well-being of a student.
- Place the OK2SAY logo on your school's website to promote the program and make a statement that your school is serious about school safety. The OK2SAY logo is accessible on the website.
- Download the free OK2SAY app or save a shortcut to the website on school computers.
- Put the OK2SAY contact information on schoolbook covers or school student planners.
- Download OK2SAY social media graphics to help raise awareness.
- Display OK2SAY promotional material (posters, stickers, and contact cards) in prominent locations in the school. School team members, particularly school counselors, may want to keep a supply of the OK2SAY contact cards. All promotional material can be ordered through OK2SAY'S website.
- Promote OK2SAY with public service announcements throughout the year.
- Encourage students to help make a positive impact in their school by incorporating the OK2SAY Ambassador Program.
- Encourage school supporters (PTA/PTO) to purchase a durable OK2SAY sign for display inside the school. OK2SAY sign information is available on the website.
- Educate the community through parent newsletters and other electronic communications.