Responding to Student Safety Threats(5:14)
with Don Ferguson of OK2SAY
Jul 02, 2018
OK2SAY is a program designed to empower Michigan students, parents, school personnel, community mental health service programs, and law enforcement to share and respond to student safety threats.
In the majority of violent incidents that occur in our schools, someone other than the perpetrator of violence knows of a threat before it’s carried out but fails to report it. Often, students choose to keep quiet because they fear retaliation, rejection, or stigmatization by their peers. The result is a culture of silence in which students suffer harm that could have been prevented if another had chosen to speak out.
The goal of OK2SAY is to stop harmful behavior before it occurs by encouraging anyone to report threatening behavior to caring adult authorities who can help. OK2SAY encourages Michigan residents to confidentially submit tips 24/7 using the OK2SAY mobile app, online, email, texting, or by calling trained program technicians. Upon receipt of a tip, specially trained OK2SAY technicians address the immediate need and forward the information to the appropriate responding law enforcement agency or organization. Tips go to schools, local law enforcement agencies, community mental health agencies or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Ultimately, it’s about early intervention and prevention. When students make the courageous decision to break the code of silence and speak out against harmful behavior, they equip authorities with the information needed to respond to threats and avert tragedy. And that’s a good thing for Michigan schools, communities, and families.
So, let’sstand up for student safety. Remember: it’s OK2SAY.
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