More than 1,000 people sent in tips about suicide threats to a state-run student safety hotline last year. It’s the first time suicide was the most common concern of all incoming tips.
Anybody can call or text the hotline, OK2SAY, with confidential information about a possible threat at school.
And while it was originally conceived of as a way to stop acts of violence, like school shootings, most of the tips coming in now are about suicide threats, bullying, or self-harm.
The state goes into schools giving presentations about Ok2SAY, with superhero-themed videos for even the youngest kids. They’re urged to download the OK2SAY app and “Be the hero in the hallway! Stop the silence, zap the violence!”
The state say it received 4,605 tips last year, up 37 percent from the previous year.