Michigan Empowers Students and Teachers to Takes a Stand against School Violence
Stop the Silence. Help End the Violence.
A Department of Homeland Security study found that in 81% of violent school incidents, someone other than the attacker had previous knowledge of the plan, but failed to act. Often, students choose to remain silent because they fear retaliation or social outcry. The Michigan Board of Education set out to change this by giving students and teachers a safe and confidential way to report potential criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employees, and schools. OK2SAY was born to stop school violence before it occurs.
The system operates 24-hours a day and users can access the program by phone, via an app, and online.
“We’re trying to change a culture,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. “When people say don’t be a narc, don’t be a rat, don’t be a snitch; how stupid is that?”
The OK2SAY program was launched on September 2, 2014 and received over 1,400 tips within the first twelve months. Most were related to bullying, cyberbullying and suicide, however, other tips included on drug use, weapon possession, and assault. Each confidential tip is screened by specially trained technicians and forwarded to the appropriate agency, including local law enforcement, community mental health organizations, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The appropriate agency then has the ability to investigate the situation further and intervene if it is deemed necessary.
“No child should ever come to school feeling unsafe,” said SASA Principal Priscilla Arocha-Roby.
While a great resource for students and teachers, the OK2SAY program only goes so far. It gives students and teachers the power to report potential acts of school violence, but does not teach them the skills necessary to identify potential threatening behavior. For this, Threat Assessment Training is needed.
Taking a Greater Stand against School Violence
Threat assessment training is a proactive approach to school violence based on the fact that most incidents are premeditated and that there are warning signs. Defender LLC’s OA2 program, which stands for Observe, Assess, and Act, teaches educators, parents/guardians, and school staff how to recognize these warning signs and how to address these issues in a positive and proactive manner. The results are for the good of the community, the families and most importantly, the students.
OA2 is a one-day training session (with access to follow-on consulting).
We will work with your program to find an affordable solution to ensure your staff has the training they need to help keep your students protected.
If you have any questions about Threat Assessment Training and how it can help put a stop to senseless School Violence, please contact Defender, L.L.C. by calling 410-381-8003. We believe a proactive approach to be the best tool in the fight against school violence.