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OK2SAY has received over 10,000 tips from Michigan students

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in 2016 with Jo Spry, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, and the inspiration behind the OK2Say program. Post photo by J. Reed.

AG released the 2017 tips numbers, which increased 37 percent since 2016

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that the OK2SAY student safety program has received 10,734 tips since the program was started in September 2014. In 2017 alone, the program received 4,605 tips–up 37 percent from 2016. For the first time, suicide threats topped the tip list.

Tips were received across 30 categories including the following:

  • 1,205 tips on suicide threats;
  • 961 tips on bullying;
  • 456 tips in the other category, related to anxiety, stress, depression, harassment
  • 390 tips on self-harm
  • 311 tips on drugs; and
  • 287 tips on cyberbullying.

“This program can be categorized as nothing else but a success, and it is a success because Michigan students are using it,” said Schuette. “OK2SAY has given students who previously did not know where to turn a confidential place to get help. I want to thank our presenters and the OK2SAY technicians at the Michigan State Police who make students feel safe and comfortable when providing tips. They are another piece of the puzzle that makes this program such a success.”

State Attorney General Bill Schuette with Cedar Springs students in 2016 when the OK2SAY program was adopted here. Courtesy photo.

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 4,605 tips received in 2017, 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. After every tip a report is filled out and acted upon. In the 2016 reports, 67 percent of schools, law enforcement and mental health professionals who received the tip from OK2SAY line said they were previously unaware of the problem. OK2SAY has proven to be immensely successful in saving lives and preventing tragedies.

Cedar Springs Public Schools adopted this state program in 2016. Schuette was on hand for the kick off of the program, and told both students and the Post that it is about changing the culture from “don’t be a snitch” to “it’s ok to communicate to save a life.”

“OK2SAY has made a difference. We are stopping violence in its tracks and making school a safer place for our kids,” said Schuette. “Credit for the program’s success is directly attributable to the thousands of student ‘heroes in the hallway’ who stepped up and took ownership of their roles in keeping their schools and classmates safe.”

The state program, which started in fall 2014, just happened to be inspired Cedar Springs Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Jo Spry, before she came to Cedar Springs. Schuette honored Spry during that program with a special license plate in a frame that reads “OK2SAY.” 

“It’s truly a passion of mine to make sure students in all of our schools are safe,” said Spry at the time. “OK2SAY is a wonderful program, and I will be eternally grateful to the legislators, community groups and the attorney general that stepped up to see it through.”

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)

Email: ok2say@mi.gov

Web:  www.ok2say.com

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

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