Looking for the Best Incident Reporting Tool? 5 Reasons why STOPit Outperforms the Competition in K-12 Schools
When it comes to finding ways to report and manage cyberbullying, harassment and other harmful or inappropriate conduct, school districts across the country are exploring different approaches to keep kids safe.
From software to smartphone apps to even basic Google docs used by some school systems, administrators are zeroing in on ways to equip students with the tools they need to report incidents safely and effectively.
While many reporting options offer important features — like user anonymity, a messaging function, and incident management — only STOPit combines all those functions in one simple and powerful platform.
A fast and secure program for reporting and managing any harmful or inappropriate behavior, STOPit is transforming the way the world reports.
Here are five reasons why STOPit outperforms the competition in K-12 schools:
1. There’s an app for that (so your students will use it)
Kids love their smartphones. According to Pew Research Center, 91 percent of teens with cell phones actively text, and over 16.7 million texts are sent in a typical U.S. high school annually. That’s a lot of their time spent looking at their phones. So it would make sense, since StopBullying.gov found that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school, to give kids a method for reporting incidents that they understand.
Unlike Web-based programs, STOPit arms students with a mobile app that lets them quickly and anonymously report an incident. Students download the app, enter their school’s unique identification code, and when an incident occurs, they can anonymously report it to the administrative team.
“Students are digital natives, and many choose to communicate first through digital means, rather than face-to-face conversations,” Dr. Robb Killen, Supervisor of Counseling & Mental Health Maury County Public Schools, noted. “(STOPit) meets them where they are.”
2. Individual school interfaces and reporting
For the broad populations of K-12 districts, a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t fit. Some reporting apps utilize the same interface for an entire school district, but STOPit allows you to customize your reporting fields for each one of your schools. For instance, middle school students might be given just three fields to report the most basic information to school authorities, while a district’s high school students might also ask for location, incident details, or students involved.
Regardless of the format used for reporting, all students are greeted with just two simple buttons when they open the STOPit app — “REPORT” and “MESSENGER.” Some systems present students with up to five buttons to choose from, which could create confusion and deter a student from completing the report.
3. Real-time reporting gets administrators ahead of incidents
As a perceived cost-saving measure, some school districts opt to create a Google Doc that is posted to the school’s website as a means for students to report any bullying incident. And while that may satisfy state mandates, there’s a great risk of delay between the report being made and it being seen and responded to by school authorities. STOPit research shows that 82% of reporters use a Mobile App – which is not available with this “do it yourself” approach.
Additionally, this approach is manual. Reports can only be sent to specific administrators via email – there is no centralized system for managing and categorizing reports, allowing for tracking and follow-up mistakes.
STOPit, which has over 7,000 schools across the country on its growing platform, offers real-time reporting capabilities. With quick dissemination of information, school authorities can get ahead of incidents and mitigate risk. In addition, the messenger feature allows administrators to engage in an anonymous conversation with the student to facilitate an effective investigation and get the necessary information.
4. You choose where your reports go (and how they’re handled)
Some state-supported programs send student reports to trained technicians, who filter the information and forward it to local law enforcement agencies, school officials, community mental health service programs, or the Department of Health and Human Services for a timely response. Schools using the STOPit platform designate where that real-time information gets sent. Local reporting means local decision-making without interference from other entities. After all, who knows your school community better than you?
As an add-on service, the STOPit Incident Monitoring Service is designed for districts that prefer to have students’ reports monitored 24/7 by bilingual operators. If a student reports something they witness at any time via the STOPit anonymous reporting application, a team of professionals gets alerted immediately and determines the next action. Operators are trained to route the report to local law enforcement and when to direct the report to your school’s designated anti-bullying coordinator.
5. Better compliance and better reporting – without more of your time
Legacy reporting systems – paper, hotlines, even web reporting – no longer meet the needs of our modern connected society. To get the kind of insight that can make a difference, you need to meet people where they are. And you need an efficient system that won’t suck time from your day.
STOPit Admin, STOPit’s 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. STOPit Admin is completely customizable for schools. Administrators can set custom alerts, incident tags, or other trackable factors, create folders, and can organize their data however is most beneficial. Schools can also assign or escalate incidents and email parents directly from within the platform.
STOPit is a powerful deterrent – you’ll see the difference as people start thinking twice before making a bad decision. Together with you, STOPit is helping create safe, smart places for people to live, work and learn.
“Programs come and go,” said one school counselor, “but I feel like STOPit is a program that’s going to be here to stay.”
To learn more, download the guide below.