June 7, 2018

    You’re Not Selling STOPit, You’re Delivering A Solution: How To Introduce STOPit To Your School District

    How can you help promote STOPit in your area?


    STOPit enables educators to keep their students safe and empowers the students to be the change. “I’m not a salesman for STOPit, I’m just a user and I love it,” Dr. Drew Williams, Principal.

    It often starts when a problem flares to the surface – a bad bullying incident, or a spike in student depression, school shootings or threats. A group of concerned parents and students then show up at the board of education meeting compelling them to “do something about it,” even if they lack any specific ideas.

    In over 2,300 school districts across the country, that “something” has been the introduction of the STOPit app. While every school’s primary goals are to provide the best possible education and a safe, positive learning environment, they also have a duty to the public to keep costs in check. So if you’re planning to pitch your local school district to implement STOPit, you’ll need to let them know that it’s not only effective, but cost-effective.

    “It costs approximately $1 per student per year, and only takes 30 minutes of administrator time to set up” said STOPit Chief Revenue Officer Neil Hooper. “There’s no supplemental software to purchase, no expensive consultants and no ongoing training programs.”

    Parents should also assure school districts that the staff time necessary to monitor STOPit is minimal. With the exception of the first few weeks – when students tend to test the system and a backlog of old incidents are sometimes reported – administrators only field one report per week in typical schools. That translates to only 15 minutes of effort per week.

    Flexibility and Options for Special Needs

    Hooper recalled that when his son’s school district in New Jersey was considering STOPit, the superintendent was very concerned about the prospect of requiring school resource officers and counselors to be on monitoring duty during weekends and nights. To allay the district’s concerns, STOPit bundled in its Incident Monitoring Service to take care of reports during off hours.

    This is just one of the many tools and capabilities STOPit has in place to handle the special needs of any school system.

    Some school districts worry about the prospect of educators being thrust into a police case if a student were to report a crime. However, they can take advantage of the Escalate feature which allows reports to be forwarded straight to the police.

    “Law enforcement are very happy to get those reports from students and they will engage and take the tip from there,” Hooper said.

    Just the Facts

    Above all, STOPit advocates should avoid making a purely emotional pitch to their school district. Instead, come to the meeting armed with facts that will resonate with board members and stakeholders.

    “The way to convince the district to take on something like STOPit is to be very specific,” Hooper said. “We have an epidemic of suicide in the country, we have bullying that leads to incredibly bad behavior. Most of the time, children in the community know these bad things are happening, but they lack the will to speak up and say something. They’re afraid to get ostracized. So the specific thing that we recommend a school district embrace is the concept of anonymous reporting.”

    It’s a point that Adrienne Nate has emphasized in discussions with her local school district’s superintendent and Board of Trustees. A year ago, Nate and fellow parents were alarmed when a student made a shooting threat against her son’s school and posed with a realistic-looking weapon on social media. Although a fellow student reported the boy to the principal, Nate said the student body easily found out who came forward, which could be a deterrent for others sharing information in the future.

    Among the selling points for STOPit vs. other reporting options is that it provides kids with anonymity and the ability to use their mobile devices, she said.

    “What I said as a concerned parent was, ‘You’ve got to get a system in place that children will use because they’re the ones who hear everything and know everything that’s going on in their school,’” Nate said. “They don’t want to come forward if they’re going to get picked on or face retribution of any kind.Working with representatives from STOPit, she helped to sign her local school district up with STOPit platform for the 2018-2019 school year.

    Additional Resources

    STOPit staff stands ready to assist you as you prepare to make a pitch to your local school district. We have talking points and guide materials available and are happy to advise your team on how you might approach the discussions. Below are some helpful resources that will help address frequently asked questions.

    Learn more about how the STOPit team can help you in your discussions with administrative leadership. Click the button below to contact us today.


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