Candice Williams, The Detroit News 4:59 p.m. EDT September 24, 2014
Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Wednesday a new anonymous hotline students can use to report potential harm or criminal activities in school.
OK2SAY, a student safety initiative, is available to Michigan students starting this school year.
“Our students learn best in a safe environment, but dangerous behaviors threaten to disrupt our schools, and in the worst cases, take the lives of our students,” Schuette said in a statement. “OK2SAY will create an early warning system in our schools and communities to stop tragedies before they start. We cannot sit and wait for the next Columbine or Sandy Hook. We must be proactive to ensure our kids are safe, both inside and outside the classroom. If even one child is saved, this program will be a success.”
Schuette made the announcement Wednesday at University Prep High School in Detroit. He was joined by Detroit Chief of Police James Craig, University Prep Schools CEO Mark Ornstein, Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw, Sandra York, executive director of Michigan PTA, and recording artist Keenan West, an anti-bullying advocate who wrote the OK2SAY theme song.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette kicks off the presentation and talks about the OK2Say phone app. (Photo: David Guralnick , The Detroit News )
According to the Secret Service, in 81 percent of violent incidents in U.S. schools, someone other than the attacker had prior knowledge of the plan but didn’t report it.
“University Prep Schools is proud to have been chosen by the attorney general as one of the first schools to take part in the OK2SAY initiative,” Ornstein said in a statement. “The safety and security of U Prep Schools’ students is our number one priority, and this program represents an important step toward eliminating the stigma associated with speaking out against violence in schools.”
Tips can be submitted in the following ways:
■Call: 8-555-OK2SAY, (855) 565-2729
■Text: 652729 (OK2SAY)
■OK2SAY App: Available for download in app stores for iPhone and Android.