October 3, 2018
GREENE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — Students in Greene County have a tool to report bullying and other harmful behavior at their fingertips.
An app called STOPit allows them to anonymously let administrators know about anything of concern.
The school division bought a subscription to the app and launched it this school year.
Kyle Pursel, the Director of Administrative Services for the school system, said it will help students feel more comfortable speaking up.
“Students are sometimes apprehensive to come forward. They don’t want that stigma of being someone who shared that,” Pursel said.
All students from elementary to high school have free access to the app. Their parents can also access the app from a web browser.
“It can give kids and adults that ability to step in and intervene without worrying about consequences on their side of things or fallout,” said Pursel.
Users can report something that is happening by sending text, pictures and/or video.
They also have the option to anonymously message a school administrator or counselor about an issue.
They can choose to share information, such as their name if they want to.
“It’s been great so far. There have been a lot of reports coming in and a lot of things that I think the counselors and administrators are grateful they can have a heads up on,” Pursel said.
The app can report more than just bullying.
“It’s also for other things. If someone hears that there’s a threat or something is going to happen, we want those students to feel safe in reporting it,” said Pursel.
He hopes it will help administrators be proactive about issues happening in their schools.
“It allows them to intervene anonymously and really become someone who’s helping make change,” he said.