Nearly two months after a deadly shooting at Oxford High School, school safety remains top of mind for many students, parents and districts. Close to 100 participants—in-person and virtually—took part in a forum hosted by Almont Community Schools last week. Reviewing emergency plans and policies is done regularly and when districts look to make infrastructure investments they almost always include a school violence prevention measure.
In times like these it’s also imperative to remember that crucial tools like OK2SAY also exist. OK2SAY is the student safety program which allows students to confidentially report tips on potential harm or criminal activities directed at students, school employees, and schools. Investigations show that in a majority of incidents within schools, someone other than the perpetrator is made aware of the threat in advance but does not report it for fear of retaliation or stigmatization. The program allows anyone to confidentially submit tips 24/7 using the OK2SAY mobile app, online, email, texting, or by calling trained program technicians. Those technicians then address the immediate need associated with the tip and forward information to law enforcement, school officials, community mental health agencies or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Since the program was launched in 2014, OK2SAY has fielded more than 2,000 tips related to threats and planned school attacks.
The numbers show the program has also helped students help their struggling classmates get the support they need. According to the 2020 OK2SAY annual report, more than 3,700 tips were received and the majority—nearly 900—were categorized as suicide threats.
It’s reassuring to know that there is an array of tools that can be utilized for school violence intervention and prevention.
To submit a tip through OK2SAY, call 855-565-2729 (8-555-OK2SAY), text 652729 (OK2SAY), email email@example.com, visit ok2say.com or download the OK2SAY app.