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Pacelli Says STOPit to Bullying

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(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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