Hotline sees spike in tips about school attack threats in Michigan

Mar 7, 2018

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (holding the mobile phone) during a news conference in Flint launching the OK2SAY hotline in 2014. Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton looks on.
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A special statewide hotline saw a significant jump in tips of possible school attacks in Michigan last month.

The OK2SAY hotline was started several years ago to give Michigan students a place to call to complain about bullies or warn of a student considering suicide.

But last month, the hotline received more than hundred tips of possible school attack threats.   

The hotline received 670 calls in February, its busiest month ever. 119 of the tips concerned threats of potential attacks on schools. 

“We take very seriously any and all tips that come into the OK2SAY hotline,” says Andrea Bitely, with Michigan’s Attorney General’s office.

Bitely says the tips are routinely forwarded to school officials and local law enforcement. 

“It’s both concerning, but also promising at the same time,” adds Bitely. “It’s concerning because these threats are out there. But it’s promising because, our students know that OK2SAY is a place to go when they are afraid that something bad could happen at their school.”

Last month’s spike in school attack tips coincided with a school shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead.

Since 2014, the OK2SAY hotline has received nearly 12,000 tips from Michigan students.