We believe Otsego Public Schools are safe, but no community is immune from the threats of violence, self-harm and drugs that endanger schools in Michigan. To address those concerns and to prepare your child for his or her part in staying safe, Otsego schools are hosting OK2Say programming for our K-12th grade students during National School Safety Week, October 22-26.
High school students will see presentations on Tuesday morning, October 23rd.
OK2SAY will hold a Community Presentation on Tuesday evening, October 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in the High School auditorium to share information on OK2Say and the students presentations with parents and community members. You'll learn what it is, how it works and how it can help in our overall school safety plan.
“As we know from experience, there is usually someone who knows about a potentially harmful act before it occurs and we want to provide our students with every opportunity to tell an adult to keep our students safe,” says Superintendent Jeff Haase. “OK2Say is a way to confidentially provide a tip that alerts authorities and the school. While we hope that our students have an adult they can go to, sometimes they need a different outlet. We want to empower our students to speak up; this is just another way to encourage them to do that.”
Middle school students will hear a presentation on the OK2Say program on Wednesday. Otsego is also hosting the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI) student safety seminars and OK2SAY's feeder programming for our K-5th grade students on Thursday and Friday.
OK2SAY is a student safety initiative available to Michigan students in grades K-12 and enables students to confidentially report potential harm or criminal activities aimed at students, teachers, staff or other school employees. The program is operated through a partnership between the Department of Attorney General, Michigan State Police, state agencies, schools, parents, law enforcement, and community leaders. Anyone can confidentially submit tips 24/7 using the OK2SAY app, online (www.ok2say.com), texting 652729 (OK2SAY), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling 8-555-OK2SAY.
In just two years, nearly 5,000 tips have been submitted to OK2SAY from across the state of Michigan. There are close to 30 categories to choose from when submitting a confidential tip. However, most tips were related to bullying, cyberbullying, self-harm and suicide. Other tips reported drug use, weapon possession, or assault. Upon receipt of a tip, specially trained OK2SAY technicians at the Michigan State Police address the immediate need and, as necessary, forward the information to the appropriate responding agency. Depending upon the nature, tips go to schools, local law enforcement agencies, community mental health agencies, or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
To ensure tips are acted upon, agencies receiving tips are asked to submit outcome reports detailing how the tip was handled. Annual reports on the program's impact detail the types and numbers of tips handled. Annual reports are available on the OK2SAY website.
We hope you can join us to see an overview of the program at the OK2SAY Community Seminar on Tuesday, October 23rd, 7:00 p.m. at the OHS Auditorium. The OK2SAY Community Seminar covers what students see in their respective presentations, provides relevant research about how students are using technology, and offers Internet safety tips and practical tools. “We hope a lot of parents will join us to learn about this new resource and continue to be great partners with us when it comes to school safety,” Haase adds.