This article was last updated on January 23rd of 2021.
The Ok2Say logo.
Ok2Say, pronounced "Okay to Say", is a government sponsored, statewide anti-bullying organization in Michigan. Ok2Say features an online reporting system, which allows students of any school that has adopted the program to anonymously report instances of bullying or cyberbullying on their website. The report then makes it to the school of the student who reported it, allowing the administration there to punish those responsible for the behavior reported. Its slogan, "Stop the silence. Help end the violence" refers to the idea that those who don't say anything when bullying occurs are allowing it to continue. Those behind Ok2Say hope that introducing anonymous reporting will "stop the silence", and thus combat bullying and cyberbullying, "ending the violence". Ok2Say offers free advertisements and posters on their website for the schools in Michigan to plaster all around their buildings.
Implementation at Williamston Community Schools
Ok2Say was introduced to Williamston High School, as well as the rest of Williamston Community Schools, in the 2018-2019 school year. There is an Ok2Say assembly every year at Williamston High School, in which the staff members hand out cute little Ok2Say cards and gather the students into the auditorium. Ok2Say has been used very little at WHS, about three times in fact, but when it has been used, the online reports have been treated seriously by the administration. Ok2Say faces widespread criticism by the students of WHS for a number of reasons. The first is that the anonymous reporting isn't truly anonymous, as the name of the person who reported it is bound to get leaked in a small school like WHS. It is also very easy for a student to make something up and abuse the system, and it's unclear on how that would be handled. Secondly, as previously mentioned, Ok2Say supports the concept that the bystanders are just as guilty as those doing the bullying, a rather controversial stance. Finally, the program encourages students to constantly report each other for wrongdoing, or "wrongthink" if you want to exaggerate. This creates unnecessary paranoia among the students. An argument can be made that the district relying on an outside program, essentially having another organization and the students do the work for them, is not the best way to crack down on bullying. It may be a better idea to have the administration leading the charge by taking direct, school-specific measures to prevent bullying themselves. Lots of students also think the program as a whole is just a joke and don't take it seriously.
Final Project for Spanish III
Main article: Ok2Say Propaganda
As a final grade for the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year, four members of Willemstan, including everyone involved with System I, created a short movie for their Spanish III final. "Ok2Say Propaganda", as it was called by the project members, made a satire out of Ok2Say by comparing it with "Nineteen Eighty-Four". The project featured Ok2Say as a tyrannical organization which had taken over all aspects of WHS, and appointed a figurehead, the principal of WHS, played by Sean. The film also featured the character "Mr. Free-man", a parody of the real Mr. Freeman, unfortunately not played by the man himself. Some of the alterations made to Okay2Say included: a new slogan, "Siempre es Bueno a Decir!" meaning "It is always okay to say!", and the poster props that say "El Principal Te Esta Mirando", meaning "The Principal is Watching You". You can watch the short film here. It is in Spanish, but there are English subtitles taken directly from the original English script.
A part of the final scene of the project. Notice the print out of the "Mike Freeman with the gun image". Other papers shown in the background of the video include a suspension referral from the Consume Saga. This scene was shot in the robotics room.
|1. Okay2Say.org - About Us Page|
|2. Silly Goose YouTube - Final Project for Spanish III|