OK2SAY benefits students in the area


Bailey Boerman

OK2SAY is a Michigan program designed for students, parents, school personnel, community mental health service programs and law enforcement to help ensure the safety of students.

The program became operational in Michigan schools on Sept. 2, 2014. By Dec.19, 2014, 410 phone calls, text messages, web and mobile app submissions had been received by operators.

Operators have received 163 tips about bullying/ cyber bullying, 54 on suicide threats, 34 on drugs and many more in unnamed categories.

Created by Gov. Rick Snyder, its purpose is to give students a safe route in reporting bad behavior. Ultimately protecting students and providing them a safe community to live in.

“OK2SAY is working to keep our kids safer in Michigan communities and schools,” Attorney General Bill Schuette said. “If even one child’s life is saved by OK2SAY, this program will have been a success. OK2SAY has passed its first semester with flying colors.”

Each day in the nation there are an average of over 5,400 attempts by young people grades 7-12.

The program includes a hotline that has many features to benefit the community. It accepts tips by phone, text message, email, website and multimedia device, operates 24-hours-a-day, every day of the year and protects the confidentiality of the reporter’s identity.

The program is shaped after a similar one in Colorado, following the Columbine shootings.

“Having an easy way for students to report trouble is important,” Vickie Markavitch, Oakland Schools superintendent, said. “I’m especially pleased that the legislation addresses referrals for proper intervention and mental health services.”