State officials say students need new and better ways to report threats of school violence. Officials plan to create a new anonymous tip-line that would include a mobile app for tech-savvy teens.
The program would let students send in tips by phone, text message, email, or the mobile app - which accepts photos and videos.
They call “OK-2-SAY”.
Michigan State Police Director Kriste Etue says it’s crucial to remove as many barriers as possible for teens with possibly life-saving information.
“They’re all socially connected to their device, so we have to appeal to the young people today,” said Etue.
Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley says it would offer students a safe and confidential way to report suspicious behavior.
“Students know what’s happening in their schools,” said Calley. “They need to have a safe venue where they can report, nobody knows that they reported, so that we can potentially save harm, violence, and even lives of kids.”
Alongside the new tip-line, state lawmakers plan to introduce legislation meant to make sure the tips are kept confidential.
Lt. Gov. Calley says getting students to offer that kind of information can be a challenge.
“We know from studies that 81 percent of violence that occurs, somebody other than the perpetrator knew about it ahead of time,” he said. “This is a venue so that there can be intervention between when somebody finds out and when the violence occurs.”
Officials say the state would pay for the new service with a pool of money from court settlements paid to the state.
Lawmakers say they to make sure the system does not stick school districts with added costs.