November 12, 2018
GREENE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) – Students in Greene County are taking a stand against bullying both in and outside of the classroom, starting with their phones.
Thanks to a new app, kids are learning to become up-standers instead of by-standers.
The app, called STOPit, is accessible by not only students, but also parents, teachers, and others school employees.
In this digital age, phones can do just about everything.
“Yeah, it’s easy,” Kyla Frazier, a sixth grader at William Monroe Middle School, said. “You just, like, type in what happened and you just pick the date.”
Now, students like Frazier are using their devices to stop bullying in its tracks.
“It’s a good way to, like, report someone that has bullied you and it’s good because it’s anonymous,” Frazier said.
Students can use STOPit to report bullies and other concerns they may feel uncomfortable voicing to a teacher.
“They can report things if there were threats made, if a student is threatening to harm themselves,” Kyle Pursel, the director of administrative services at the school, said.
“It might be hard to tell a teacher about it, and you can just, like, type what you want and it’s easier to do that than just say it,” Frazier said.
Reports then fall in the hands of school administrators.
“It gives us the opportunity to be able to respond to concerns immediately,” Eileen Oliver-Eggert, the William Monroe principal, said.
It’s then up to school counselors and administrators to hit the ground running to get it resolved.
“What we need to be able to do is really help our students with that social-emotional aspect of their lives, really,” Pursel said.
Frazier says she’s already used the app to make her school a better place.
“So that people don’t keep getting hurt in schools and it can become a safe environment,” Frazier said.
So far, the school has addressed more than 100 cases of bullying or other issues in and outside of the classroom since the beginning of the school year.