ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – Elizabethton students have a new, anonymous way to report bullying.
The school system rolled out its subscription to the STOPit app last week, an anonymous reporting app that students can use to report incidents such as bullying, threats or mental health concerns.
Assistant director of Elizabethton schools Richard VanHuss said students can download the app, type ‘Elizabethton’ into the keyword search, and select their school to begin the reporting process.
“We always run into the situation where kids may not feel comfortable talking one-on-one about an issue,” he said. “This gives them, it kind of gets into their world, what they’re used to, and that’s the use of technology.”
Students answer questions about the incident before sending it to administrators for review. Students are able to attach photos or screenshots to the report.
“The neat feature of it is it allows the administrator, once they receive the report, they can anonymously talk back and forth with the student via text, via message, just to get additional information if they need that,” VanHuss said.
The reporting system is also included within the new app for Elizabethton High School, which rolled out this week.
VanHuss said measures like anonymous reporting apps are becoming more common in the face of cyberbullying. He said students who face bullying from peers online may also report those incidents.
The app also includes resources for suicide prevention, VanHuss added, including the National Suicide Prevention hotline.
False reports are a concern for administrators, VanHuss said, which is why students must acknowledge that false reports will be investigated before submitting a report.
While he said it may increase the workload for administrators, he said he is excited to reap the benefits of the app.
“It’s a proactive tool in our minds that we can get a jump on anything that may potentially be an issue,” he said, adding, “Any situation, if they’re concerned, they’ve heard a comment about a student maybe making threats or anything like that.”