Warren County School System is determined to be proactive when it comes to bullying, cyberbullying, student well-being, substance abuse, and safety.
That’s why the school system has paid $4,500 for an app called STOPit for students in grades 6-12 who are less likely to talk to adults.
“Research and studies tell us that kids will report, just not face to face, and kids have smartphones,” said federal programs director Vicki Dodd. “We are live and we’ve practiced with four different schools and it works.”
The STOPit app facilitates reporting by empowering students to take screenshots of malicious online behavior, uploading a photo or video of incidents and accessing helpful resources.
According to Dodd, schools with students in grades 6-12 will be given a school-specific user code. Students can download the app for free and have quick access to school officials, including their principal, Dodd, and Director of Schools Bobby Cox.
So how does it work? Filing a report is simple and fast through either an app or web interface. The student will answer two questions – “What would you like to report? Please provide as much detail as possible” and “Where did this occur?” Students have the option to remain anonymous or provide their name.
Another neat aspect of STOPit is the built-in Messenger feature, which allows for real-time, two-way dialogue with administrators instantly to follow up on reports.
“If an administrator gets a report, Rachael, for example, can text back and forth and have a live text conversation with the student automatically upon receipt,” explained Dodd.
However, if a student submits a fake report, the school has the right to find out the student’s identity, which would result in disciplinary measures.
School officials encourage students to download the app and stand up for themselves or others. Utilize this new tool to report bad behavior, safety or other issues.