STOPit: Fighting Bullying

What kid hasn’t used the directive “Stop it!” in some form or fashion? Run those words together and you’ve got new school technology aimed at averting issues such as bullying.

STOPit is designed for students, because life can be difficult. It’s not always easy for students to speak up about cyberbullying or even self-harm.

Dee Crabtree, Bedford County Schools coordinator of school health, recently discussed this new technology with Bedford County Board of Education. She informed the group that the STOPit mobile app provides a safe, anonymous and comfortable way for students to share emergency information with educators.

Safe and effective

“We recently introduced the STOPit app to our students,” said Crabtree. “It’s geared toward students third through 12th grade. It helps students prevent such issues . . . that which negatively impacts the learning environment.”

Crabtree advised board members that the mobile app is currently being used in 30 Tennessee school districts. The school systems have insurance partnerships which help reduce cost.

Each student has access to an individual code. School administrators and their designees are responsible for monitoring student use.

Most schools, Crabtree said, have downloaded the app on school devices, so even those without mobile phones can access it. She showed the school board a short video.

Easy to use

It’s virtually as simple as one click. Once the app is downloaded, students enter their personal access code. If students want to report bullying, they simply open the app, tap the report button, then send a message.

Board member Glenn Forsee asked. “To whom?”

“The principal and his or her designee . . . whoever they want to receive it,” said Crabtree.

Superintendent Don Embry said some school resource officers (SROs) receive student messages. Embry said principals were trained as well as students on proper use of the application.

“It just wasn’t just thrown out there,” said Embry. “They’ve gone through how to use it.”

Local effect

The superintendent said in just about three months, there have been some bullying incidences halted. He said some kids have just played with the app, which is to be expected.

“This is just one measure … one way to help a child,” said Embry. “They can do it anonymously.”

Embry said the app is being highly recommended by Tennessee Risk Management Trust, which is the school system’s insurance provider. He has discussed the technology with other educators across the state, noting STOPit receives positive reviews.

“We’re still working out those kinks,” said Embry. “Once it settles down, it will be a really good reporting method.”

Forsee said because of social media, and the plethora of information available, he asked about a firewall of protection. Crabtree said the STOPit education solutions company is responsible for protecting a student’s private information.

Off-hours

Board member Brian Crews asked Crabtree about their plans if the volume of calls becomes greater than the people available to respond to student messages. Crews, who is also acting deputy chief of the Shelbyville Police Department, explained there is a possibility that student complaints could go to a database at 7:30 a.m. or 9 p.m. when no one is monitoring. He asked how those calls would be monitored.

“That’s one of the kinks . . . what constitutes an emergency,” said Embry. “Those are things that need to be checked on.”

Board member Diane Neeley said Liberty School rolled out information about the new app on Facebook. School principals also have posters up advising students to become involved in STOPit.

As for misuse of the technology, Embry noted it falls under the same guidelines as abuse of any other school resources. “If a student misuses it … false reports, they can be banned or blocked out from the program.”

Background

STOPit founder Todd Schobel was driving home from work on a normal day when a story on the radio changed his life forever.

The story the STOPit creator heard was that of the tragic story of Amanda Todd, a victim of online predation and the cruel and relentless taunting by her peers. Amanda took her own life at just 15 years of age.

Amanda had shared her story via flashcards in a YouTube video that caught the world’s attention. Overcome with a sense of urgency, Schobel believed the key to helping people like Amanda was to empower them to use the same technology that was inflicting a lot of hurt.

In that moment, STOPit was born.

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Pacelli Enrolls with STOPit to Empower, Protect Students

Pacelli Catholic School has enrolled with STOPit, the leading technology platform for schools that deters and controls harmful or inappropriate conduct. STOPit empowers students with an easy app to safely and anonymously report anything of concern to school officials – from cyberbullying to threats of violence or self-harm. STOPit empowers students to stand up for themselves and others while giving our school the insight we need to keep students safe.

“With STOPit, students have the power to protect themselves and others from harmful, inappropriate, or unsafe behavior. STOPit makes it easy for students to do the right thing,” stated Jean McDermott, Principal of Pacelli.

With STOPit, students can submit anonymous reports containing text, photos, or video. Administrators are then able to manage incidents in a backend management system called DOCUMENTit. DOCUMENTit provides efficient and powerful investigative tools to our staff, including the ability to message with the reporter, which allows us to address issues instantly.

STOPit does more than just help schools address incidents and mitigate risk. STOPit will also help us go beyond reacting to bullying and inappropriate behavior, and instead start deterring it. As young people continue to engage more with technology every day, we are taking a proactive step to empower our students to become upstanders in our community in the way that they feel most comfortable. We believe our adoption of STOPit is an important step in our continued effort to provide a positive school climate and a safe learning environment for our students.

Our STOPit program launch took place last week with students learning about the program during a school assembly and parents receiving information at conferences.

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Los Lunas Police Launch New App Service for Submitting Tips

LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – The Los Lunas Police Department is offering a new way to submit tips about criminals through a mobile app.

The police department will launch the “STOPit” program Thursday.

The app lets the tipster upload images, videos and documents all while ensuring you’ll be completely anonymous.

To access the program, download the STOPit app and enter access code: LosLunasPD.

The app will replace the text-a-tip program.

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Pacelli Says STOPit to Bullying

(ABC 6 News) — By some estimates, nearly three-fourths of the students in the US have *seen* bullying at their schools … and as many as one-in-three in grades six through 12 have *experienced* bullying themselves.

Now, some students in Austin are saying “stop it”.

“At Pacelli it’s more of the little things that the big things,” freshman Lynsey McMahon said. “So say each little thing is like a brick. Eventually, you’ll end up with a wall.”

It’s become a 21st century epidemic. But now, there’s a 21st century way to deal with it.”

The Pacelli Catholic school system in Austin has enrolled with “STOPit”.

“It’s a technological platform that students can anonymously report any cases of bullying or cyber bullying, even any cases of self-harm or things they know about other people,” said Laura Mareel, Pacelli dean of students.

The Catholic Diocese of Winona is providing STOPit for all of its schools in the diocese.

Staff members at Pacelli trained with STOPit this summer, and launched it for students in early October.

“I think we’re probably averaging one or two reports a day” dean of students laura Mareel said.

“When we didn’t have STOPit people were afraid to report because the bully has so much power” freshman Lynsey McMahon told us.

“Kids almost get the backlash for saying that they’ve witnessed bullying or they’re scared to say they’re bullied themselves because they think that something worse will happen,” sophomore Abigail Nelson said.

“The person that is doing it, they’re not going to tell anybody. The person that is having it done to them, they’re not going to tell anybody. And the person that sees it, they’re not going to tell anybody” Pacelli senior Trace Fishbaugher said. “But with this app, two out of those three people are going to tell somebody.”

“They get that feeling in their gut in their conscience that is telling them that something’s happening that is not right and this is their way to anonymously report it so that administration can get involved and hopefully stop the situations that are happening,” Pacelli’s Laura Mareel said.

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Bradley County Schools and Bradley County Sheriff’s Office: Introducing STOPit

Bradley County Schools in partnership with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office announced a new anonymous reporting system – STOPiT

STOPit is the leading technology company providing software and services that mitigate, deter and control inappropriate conduct.

The STOPit solutions are available to schools, universities, workplaces, and governments around the world.

Anonymous and configurable reporting are available by mobile app, web app and phone tip line empowering individuals to protect themselves and stand up for others as well as reporting safety and crime issues.

STOPit provides valuable services to administrators including monitoring their incidents, content about issues and resolutions, training and promotion services, and investigation tools to help get in front of issues and manage risks.

Each Bradley County School, in joint partnership with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, utilizes the STOPit software and electronic application (e.g. smartphone app.) to encourage and facilitate anonymous or public reporting.

Students can download the STOPit application via their wireless provider’s online store at no charge. Ask your school’s administrator for the passcode.

If tips are called in by phone, the Sheriff’s tip line is 423-728-7311 ext.0.

Or visit the STOPiT website or the Department of Health Services website for more information.

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Seton Catholic Schools to Purchase Anti-Bullying App, STOPit

MILWAUKEE — The $100 million for school safety grants, from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, is allowing Seton Catholic Schools to buy a mobile app, called STOPit, that combat bullies.

The schools received more than $464,000 for safety updates to all 14 of its schools.

The Director of Student Services, Sam Coleman, says schools have installed new locks, cameras, intercom systems, and shatterproof film to glass. He agrees that making the schools more secure is incredibly important, but it’s also imperative they focus on their students’ mental health and wish to feel safe.

“We want students to feel empowered to lead. We want students to feel empowered to use their voice and speak up,” said Coleman.

Wednesday, at Blessed Sacrament Elementary, grades four through eight learned about STOPit. Granted, Santiago Andreas Hernandez Bustos says he hasn’t seen any bullying at his school, Saint Ramos. He still thinks it’s important to talk about.

“It matters because it’s people’s feelings,” said Bustos. “If I ever see bullying I’ll use the STOPit app.”

However, Katelyn Doepke, who attends Saint Charles Borromeo, says she’s had to step in and stand up for bullying victims.

“I do see bullying and it’s a big problem because kids have been very sad,” said Doepke.

The STOPit app allows students to anonymously report bullying, cyberbullying or any threats. The school then receives the message and handles the situation from there. Coleman says it’s very helpful in the cases of online issues, because being sent direct screenshots help tell the story.

Saint Charles Borromeo’s Principal Courtney Albright says when it comes to school safety, everyone has a part they must play, not just the students or the school.

“Absolutely, it’s really important that we approach this as a team. So that the students know that parents, teachers, the principals, the school staff are really all on the same page. We want them to feel safe at school,” said Albright.

Seton Catholic administrators say using technology, like the STOPit app, can truly help fight bullying in a different way.

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Van Vleck Enrolls in STOPit to Deter Conduct

Van Vleck ISD has enrolled with STOPit, the leading technology platform for schools that deters and controls harmful or inappropriate conduct.

STOPit empowers students with an easy app to safely and anonymously report anything of concern to school officials – from cyberbullying to threats of violence or self-harm. STOPit empowers students to stand up for themselves and others while giving our schools the insight we need to keep students safe.

“Keeping our learning community safe for our students and staff is our number one priority. As young people continue to engage more with technology every day, we are taking a proactive step to empower our students to become upstanding citizens in our community in the way that they feel most comfortable. Giving students, staff and parents the ability to notify campus administrators of concerning issues in a safe and anonymous way is wonderful. This will definitely be an amazing tool for the safety of our students,” said Van Vleck Superintendent John R. O’Brien.

With STOPit, students can submit anonymous reports containing text, photos, or video. Administrators are then able to manage incidents in a backend management system called DOCUMENTit.

DOCUMENTit provides efficient and powerful investigative tools to our staff, including the ability to message with the reporter, which will allow us to address issues instantly.

STOPit does more than just help schools address incidents and mitigate risk. STOPit will also help us go beyond reacting to bullying and inappropriate behavior, and instead start deterring it.

“We believe our adoption of STOPit is an important step in our continued effort to provide a positive school climate and a safe learning environment for our students.,” O’Brien said.

Van Vleck’s STOPit program launched Monday, Nov. 5. For more information, please contact the campus administrator.

STOPit is the leading technology company providing a comprehensive software platform that mitigates, deters and controls bullying, including cyberbullying, harassment and other harmful or inappropriate conduct.

The STOPit platform is available to schools, universities, businesses and governments both in the United States and around the world. The STOPit mobile app is a simple, fast and powerful tool which empowers individuals to protect themselves and stand up for others online, on social media, in the classroom or in the office. DOCUMENTit, a robust incident management system, empowers administrators and management to get in front of issues to mitigate risk and adhere to the ever evolving compliance landscape.

To learn more about STOPit, please visit www.stopitsolutions.com or online at www.vvisd.org under the SECURITY TAB.

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Yes, There’s an App for That: Schools in Greene are Using Technology to Combat Bullying

Schools in Greene County are taking a new step toward ending bullying through use of the STOPit app.

STOPit is a program that allows students to report bullying or other incidents to school counselors or administrators. The students can choose to be anonymous or not send a message with an optional picture or video. This report is then sent to the appropriate authorities at the school.

“STOPit is an app that students and parents alike can use in order to report anonymously,” said Dr. Kyle Pursel, director of administrative services for Greene County Public Schools. “It can be bullying, it can be harassment, it can be threats-anything that they feel is important for us to know.”

The app has a clear and concise goal of creating more “upstanders” instead of bystanders, as the app calls them. Upstanders are people who are willing to step up and say something instead of watching bullying happening.

“I hope that we can have more students be upstanders and help prevent something,” Pursel said. “If we can get them to be more preventative, that will be a benefit to all of us.”

So far, the students are receiving it well, he said. Slowly but surely they’re growing more accustomed to the app; it’s not just the students that are using it, but the teachers are starting to report incidents.

“I think the students are getting more comfortable with the app and in the last few weeks I’ve also seen the teachers using the app and reporting different things,” he said. “It’s great because the mental side for students is a big deal and if a teacher sees or maybe hears something that may be concerning that teacher can share it on the STOPit app.”

The app has already started making progress in the school, according to Pursel, noting that he’s pleasantly surprised by how well the students are receiving it. He and school counselors have been able to help mitigate events while they’re happening instead of after.

“Being an administrator myself at both the middle school and high school levels and knowing how things like this would typically get reported to us, a lot of the time it would be after the fact. Then it’s really hard to go back,” Pursel said.

The STOPit doesn’t just stop at bullying though. It takes on a much larger goal of letting students submit any worry they have. If anything is concerning students, they can use the app to talk with the guidance counselors.

One of the other important functions of STOPit is that it will allow students to report things that they may have not have been comfortable reporting in the past. Pursel noted that STOPit encourages students to report destructive behavior, such as drug or alcohol abuse or self-harm.

“You’re not in trouble, but we gotta talk about it,” Pursel said. “That friend, if he or she is cutting, they’re not in trouble. We have to find out what the root cause is and provide assistance. Parents and society, we need to know how frequent it is for students to be cutting.”

While STOPit won’t fix every problem, it’s a step toward a world where people are willing to step up and report bullying instead of passively standing by, he said.

For information on the program, visit stopitsolutions.com.

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