LANSING, Mich. — With the new school year approaching fast, safety is at the top of mind for many parents — and one of the top priorities for state police.
Michigan State Police’s OK2SAY is a program that allows people to submit anonymous tips relating to potential harm or crime at school.
Its website says the goal is to: “empower Michigan students to help prevent violence and make their schools safer by confidentially reporting threatening behavior.”
The program has seen a steep increase over the past couple of years.
In 2022, they received 7,415 tips. In 2020, they saw 3,743 tips in 2020.
“On the maybe negative side, it could be that instances of violence, bullying, abuse, are happening more frequently, and it’s starting to affect more students, parents, faculty,” Detective Sergeant Nicholas Norman, supervisor of OK2SAY said.
However, he’s hopeful that the numbers also reflect an increase in awareness for the program.
“Whenever a presentation is given at a school, we immediately start to see an increase in tips from that school, because kids are now aware of it, and they immediately begin to use the program,” Detective Sergeant Norman said.
There’s also been a change in the types of tips. In 2020, the most tipped category was suicide. In 2022, it’s bullying.
Mary Gager Drew, program administrator for OK2SAY, says there’s a wide range of tips they receive.
“We also see a lot of what we call our other tips, our mental health, the anxiety, the stress, depression. Drugs and alcohol is another area,” Drew said.
They also receive tips related to threats, including weapons at schools.
You can submit an anonymous tip at this link.
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