Schuette Launches OK2SAY PSA in Michigan Movie Theaters, Releases 2016 Annual Report

Contact: Andrea Bitely, Megan Hawthorne; 517-373-8060

May 17, 2017

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today released the OK2SAY student safety program’s 2016 Annual Report and began a new statewide public service announcement campaign in movie theaters across Michigan.

OK2SAY is the most effective prevention-based reporting mechanism tool, logging in more than 7,844 tips from Michigan students since September 2014.

“Since its creation in 2013, I’ve believed that saving even one student’s life makes this program a success,” said Schuette. “OK2SAY has not only saved lives, it’s stopped violence and ensured that Michigan students have a safe place to learn and grow. But our work is not done. There are more students who need our help. It’s time to remove the sunset so this vital program can continue beyond the 2017 Fiscal Year.”

“Michigan’s children should feel safe wherever they are – home, school, on the internet,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police. “We remain committed to reaching as many students as possible and assuring them that we take this seriously. Nothing is too small or insignificant to report.”

2016 OK2SAY Annual Report

To date, OK2SAY student safety educational seminars have been presented to nearly 2 million Michigan students at public, private, and charter schools. At the close of 2016, OK2SAY programming has reached more than 80% of Michigan’s 83 counties.

OK2SAY received 3,359 tips in 2016 - an increase of more than 54% compared to the previous calendar year. Tips were received in 30 categories including:

  • 800 tips on bullying;
  • 569 tips on suicide threats;
  • 480 tips related to “other” (e.g. depression, stress, and harassment);
  • 307 tips on self-harm; and
  • 279 tips on cyberbullying.

The year 2016 was filled with milestones for OK2SAY. In July, the department was awarded a Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) “WAGGY” award for Best Mobile App for the OK2SAY app. Later that fall, OK2SAY logged its 5,000th tip, exceeding expectations and establishing itself as Michigan’s most effective prevention-based reporting mechanism.

Public Service Announcement Campaign in Theaters

The Department of Attorney General worked with a group of five local animators, visual designers, and sound artists, led by a professor, to create an animated 30-second public service announcement. The team was a mix of both current students and recent graduates from Kendall College in Grand Rapids.

“By having students work on this project, students are helping reach other students about OK2SAY,” said Schuette. “I hope this new campaign will expand our scope outside the classroom, empowering all Michigan kids with the tools they need to be heroes in the hallway.”

“The project was a lot of fun to work on. We wanted to tie into the coming super hero season by giving it an action-packed flare,” said Brad Yarhouse, professor at Kendall College of Art and Design. “Everybody had a great time not only working on the design, but having the opportunity to make a difference and to help K-12 students. It wasn’t just a job- it had meaning to it.”

Over 60 movie theaters across the state will feature the public service announcement. The Department aims to reach students during some of the spring’s big block busters.

 OK2SAY PSA group photo

Professor Brad Yarhouse (far right) with his team of student collaborators (left to right: Joshua Workman, James Driessche, Melanie Dionne, Erica Syverson; not pictured: Lee Albrecht) who produced the newest OK2SAY public service announcement, now running in movie theaters across Michigan.

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 in 2014, the program encourages students to submit confidential tips to trained technicians regarding potential harm or threats 24/7.

Through the 3,359 tips received in 2016, OK2SAY has saved lives. Submitted tips have prevented school violence, thwarted suicide attempts and provided help to many Michigan students in need of mental health or social services.

OK2SAY is effective in combatting the culture of silence that permeates Michigan schools. In reports filled out after a tip is received and acted upon, 67% of schools, law enforcement and mental health professionals who received the tip from OK2SAY said they were previously unaware of the problem. OK2SAY has proven to be immensely successful in saving lives and preventing tragedies.

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 2016 Annual Report details the types and numbers of tips handled throughout the year.

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 Email: (ok2say@mi.gov)

OK2SAY website: (ok2say.com)

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

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