Michigan students have a new way to report potential threats in state schools.
Starting this fall, students who believe they have information about potential criminal activities at schools can use the OK-2-Say hotline to call, text or email tips to law enforcement.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton joined other officials at a Flint area school today to promote the statewide program.
“This is an opportunity to be pro-active,” says Layton, “This is an opportunity to prevent violence. To prevent intimidation. To prevent bullying. To prevent threats in schools before they happen.”
OK-2-Say is based on a Colorado program started after the Columbine massacre.
Attorney General Bill Schuette hopes OK-2-Say will bring to an end the pressure some students feel to “not be a snitch."
“We need to stop this ‘don’t be a snitch,' ‘don’t be a narc,' ‘don’t be a rat,’" says Schuette, “This whole culture of silence, we’re shattering that today and ushering in a new approach … and it’s a culture of safety.”
Kendra Giles is the director of the International Academy in Flint. She’s optimistic OK-2-Say will have a broader effect.
“It will not only change our environment here at school, but we’re hoping that once it changes here, it will change in the community,” says Giles.
Michigan State Police will manage the tip line and pass along tips to schools and local police agencies.