2018-01-11 / News

OK2SAY app allows anonymous, safe way to report potential harm

By Megan Millinkov

GENESEE COUNTY — The Michigan Attorney General’s office has released an app called “OK2SAY.”

Overall, the main objective is to reduce the amount of threats directed at students, especially on school grounds.

According to the OK2SAY website, “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 state said further on its website. “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 app was created in order for students, staff, or anyone in the state to safely report potential threats of harm.

You can submit anonymous tips through the mobile app, online, email, texting, or by calling trained program technicians. The situation is addressed immediately and the information is sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency or organization.

The app is highly beneficial due to the quick and easy way people may report potential threats without risk or pressure that some may otherwise avoid reporting.

Kearsley High School freshman Mariah Morris said she could see herself using the app.

“I honestly think it’s a good idea,” said Morris.

Kearsley senior Rebekah Caudle also said she thinks the app could be useful, although others may not agree.

“I can see myself using it,” said Caudle. “But with how people are these days, I feel like even if it’s anonymous they wouldn’t use it because (they would think that) it’s still snitching and they’d still be scared (to use it).”

There’s a lot of positive feedback for the app already from other young people in Michigan.

App reviewer Chloe1977 said, “They where (sic) incredible and helpful I hope I never have to Use (sic) them again but if I do I will.”

Another app reviewer by the username Mehmeh201 said, “I got help for my suicidal friend. It’s nice to not have the pressure to talk to your principal about it and just text instead.”

There’s no denying that this app has already helped many people, as well as the potential to greatly benefit our school and create a safer learning environment.

If you see something, say something.

The app can be downloaded on iPhone or Android, or contacted through text message, phone call, e-mail or web forum. Additional contact information can be found on its website, http://www.michigan.gov/ ok2say/0,5413,7-309-77651---,00.html.

Megan Millinkov lives in Davison Township and attends Kearsley High School. This article is reprinted with the permission of Kearsley High School adviser Darrick Puffer, from The Eclipse, school news website.

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