Ottawa Area Superintendents Association Launches #StopThinkVerify Campaign - Mar 20, 2024
March 20, 2024

Ottawa Area Superintendents Association Launches #StopThinkVerify Campaign

to Help Protect Students from Deepfake Deception

West Michigan - In response to the growing concern over the safety and well-being of students in the digital age, the Ottawa Area Superintendents Association (OASA), representing Ottawa County and northern Allegan County school districts, announces the launch of the #StopThinkVerify campaign. This initiative is a collective effort to educate students, parents and the broader community about the dangers of deepfake technology and to promote digital literacy and safety.


Deepfakes are sophisticated digital manipulations created with artificial intelligence and pose a significant threat to the integrity of information online and to individuals who become victims. These manipulations make it increasingly difficult to distinguish real content from fabrications, leading to potential harm for students such as cyberbullying, character assassination and blackmail. Reports from law enforcement officials highlight that students in West Michigan have already fallen victim to these deceptive practices.

The #StopThinkVerify initiative focuses on:

  • Educating the Public: Through public service announcements, active social media engagement, and partnerships with local media, the campaign aims to raise awareness about deepfakes and their potential impact.
  • Promoting Student Well-being: Highlighting the emotional and psychological effects of deepfakes, the initiative provides families with support and resources needed to address these challenges.
  • Boosting Digital Literacy: Engaging activities, such as a "Real or AI?" challenge, encourage students to hone their critical thinking skills and become savvy digital content consumers.
  • Encouraging Community Involvement: The campaign fosters a collective responsibility among community members to support each other and the schools in safeguarding against digital threats.

The OASA invites the community to learn more about deepfakes and the dangers they pose, especially for our youth. Resources, including tips for identifying deepfakes, ways to report them, and conversation starters for families, are available at OASSN.ORG. Together, we can create a safer digital environment for our students and ensure their well-being in both the physical and digital realms.

Watch the OASA’s public service announcement.

For more information about the #StopThinkVerify initiative, please visit OASSN.ORG.

About the Ottawa Area Superintendents Association:

The Ottawa Area Superintendents Association is a coalition of 14 K-12 school systems in Ottawa County and the northern part of Allegan County, Michigan that make up the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District. They include: Allendale Public Schools, Black River Public School, Coopersville Area Public Schools, Grand Haven Area Public Schools, Hamilton Community Schools, Holland Christian Schools, Holland Public Schools, Hudsonville Public Schools, Jenison Public Schools, Ottawa Area ISD, Saugatuck Public Schools, West Ottawa Public Schools and Zeeland Public Schools. 

About OASSN.ORG (Ottawa Area Secure Schools Network):

OASSN is a collaborative approach to school safety and security.  Within the Ottawa Area ISD region, there are many entities – from law enforcement to emergency services to schools themselves – that have an overlapping interest in keeping students safe. The purpose of the Ottawa Area Secure Schools Network is to bring together all relevant parties to work toward regional-based solutions to common safety and security issues facing K-12 educational institutions.