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Tag Archive | "Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette"

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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Schuette files suit against Family Fitness 


Alleging numerous Consumer Protection Act Violations

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced he has filed a class action lawsuit against the West Michigan-based fitness chain, Family Fitness, in Kent County Circuit Court.

The complaint asks the Court to put a stop to various practices by Family Fitness that allegedly violate Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act, and seeks monetary relief on behalf of consumers. This action comes after Schuette has received 286 consumer complaints against Family Fitness in 2017.

“These entities have been taking advantage of the hard-working people in West Michigan, and it’s time for that to stop,” Schuette said.  “It is my hope that we can reform Family Fitness’ business practices, and get some money back in the pockets of many consumers. We will also ask the Court to make sure the credit reports of Michigan consumers no longer show debts arising from unlawful conduct by these fitness clubs.”

There are fourteen Family Fitness centers in West Michigan, with locations in Allendale, Alpine, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Holland, Muskegon, North Muskegon, Norton Shores, Plainwell, Portage, Sparta, Standale, and Wyoming.

Cease and Desist Issued in July 2017

In July 2017, the Attorney General issued a cease-and-desist order to Family Fitness after receiving numerous complaints asserting that the fitness chain was holding consumers responsible for paying hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on cancelled gym membership and personal training contracts.  Many consumers had received credit reporting information showing they were being pursued by a collection agency acting on Family Fitness’ behalf.  In that notice, the Attorney General advised that his staff would continue reviewing documents and interviewing consumers and then would determine whether it was necessary to open a formal investigation or file a lawsuit.

Details of Class Action Suit

A lawsuit became appropriate after the Attorney General’s ongoing review revealed numerous other alleged violations of the Consumer Protection Act, including:

*Consumers have entered drawings and are told by telephone they have won free memberships, but—when they show up to collect their prizes—they learn there are actually monthly costs;

*Consumers who have won drawing prizes are not given any written description of the prize, notice that they will be subjected to a sales presentation when they come to collect it, nor any descriptions and costs of the services Family Fitness intends to solicit them about when they do come, as required by the Act;

*Misrepresentations are made to consumers at the time of signing up with Family Fitness.  Such representations relate to topics including the involved costs, the duration of contracts, and the consumers’ right to cancel contracts. Such misrepresentations range from false or misleading statements that the membership or personal training arrangements can be cancelled at any time, to failures to disclose important information—such as Family Fitness’ expectation that a consumer doing a free trial must use the facilities a specified number of times in order to be able to cancel the free trial;

*For consumers who have had memberships with other gyms that have closed, Family Fitness has made confusing and misleading representations regarding their legal obligations to Family Fitness;

*In recent situations, Family Fitness appears to be putting consumers under duress to enter into new membership agreements by telling them that is the only way they can remove prior alleged debts for which the consumers have been put into a collections process.

Family Fitness operates through a series of limited liability companies formed under Michigan law, each of which has been named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

What Happens Next

The Attorney General anticipates bringing a motion for injunctive relief that will seek to require Family Fitness to adhere to the requirements of the Consumer Protection Act. Meanwhile, Family Fitness will have an opportunity to respond to the lawsuit by either filing a motion or answer with the Court.

File a Complaint

Consumers may file a complaint online by going to https://secure.ag.state.mi.us/complaints/consumer.aspx, otherwise they may send their complaint by regular mail or fax as listed below. If you have any questions, please call the Consumer Protection Division Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at 517-373-1140 or toll free 877-765-8388.

Consumer Protection Division

P.O.Box 30213

Lansing, MI 48909

517-373-1140

Fax: 517-241-3771

Toll free: 877-765-8388

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