Students in Michigan schools can now report potential threats through a confidential tip line.
The “OK-2-Say” line allows students and concerned citizens to report anonymous tips via a 24-hour hotline, web, text messages and a mobile app.
Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, sponsored the bill to create the 24-hour, confidential tip line. She hopes the program will become a safe way to prevent violence in schools.
“We want them to feel secure," said Emmons. "Sometimes they are reluctant. They don’t want to rat out their friends… We just want them to feel confident that there is help out there, that it will be confidential.”
The initiative is modeled after a Colorado-based program, which reported more than 3,000 tips received last year about concerns including bullying, suicide, and sexually related crimes.
Emmons adds that the program doesn’t displace 911, but it’s an early warning system that can allow law enforcement to act before tragedies occur.
“I hope this will be a tool to prevent instances from occurring. As time goes on and more people become aware, people will feel confident it’s a safe means of communication,” said Emmons.