OK2Say hotline unveiled

Categories: Blog Features,Education,In Case You Missed It

okay2sayThe Michigan Legislature, along with Attorney General Bill Schuette, has worked hard over the last few years to make Michigan a safer place – cracking down on crimes that range from scrap metal theft to identity theft and even phone and utility scams targeting our elderly.

House Republicans have also worked to make our kids safer by establishing an OK2Say hotline, which was unveiled this morning with the help of Rep. Phil Potvin.

After the Columbine tragedy in 1999, schools across Colorado banded together to create the “Safe2Tell” program, whereby students could anonymously call in tips and help to prevent any future violence. Since its creation, the “Safe2Tell” hotline has resulted in the intervention of 28 planned school attacks, 275 weapon incidents, 442 sexual offenses, 890 planned suicides, and 1,636 bullying incidents.

Cadillac Public Schools decided to emulate the Colorado hotline, helping to generate several critical tips in two years.

But now, thanks for Public Act 183 of 2013, schools — and students — across Michigan now have access to their own statewide tipline, known as OK2Say.

OK2Say is designed to prevent violence and tragedy before it occurs, encouraging confidential tip-sharing among students, parents, school employees and law enforcement officials. The 24/7 program will now accept tips via phone, text message, email, website and a mobile application.

Students who have concerns about bullying, school violence or are contemplating suicide are encouraged to use the OK2Say hotline by calling 855-5-OK2SAY, texting 652729 (OK2SAY) or emailing OK2SAY@mi.gov. There’s also an online tip form, available here.

Making Michigan’s schools safer and providing a safe way to report tips and concerns is just one more way House Republicans are working toward a brighter future for us all.