In its ongoing efforts to keep students safe, Johnson City Schools has announced the implementation of a new reporting tool which can connect students to staff and authorities 24/7.
The school system has enrolled with STOPit, the leading technology platform for schools that deters and controls harmful or inappropriate conduct. STOPit empowers students with an easy app to safely and anonymously report anything of concern to school officials — from cyberbullying to threats of mass violence or self-harm, or to reach out for immediate assistance through STOPit’s crisis helpline.
Greg Wallace, the school system’s supervisor of safety and mental health, said it is important that the schools are “making sure that we have resources for the students that are not just available to them at school, but also 24/7, because obviously students that are in crisis are not just in crisis during the school day.”
STOPit empowers students to stand up for themselves and others while giving Johnson City Schools the insight it needs to keep students safe. Students can download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play store on their mobile device and then search for their Johnson City school. With STOPit, students can submit anonymous reports containing text, photos or video and they can also contact a crisis counselor who can talk with them directly.
Administrators are then able to manage incidents in a back end management system called STOPit Admin. STOPit Admin provides efficient and effective investigative tools to school staff, including the ability to message with the reporter, allowing them to address issues instantly. When the school day is over, STOPit staff based out of New Jersey are able to monitor the app remotely and coordinate assistance for any students in need.
“We are excited to be able to provide this additional resource for our students,” Wallace said. “This will be another means of support for our students, especially those who are facing mental health issues.”
While students’ reports on STOPit are anonymous, Johnson City Schools says there will be severe consequences for anyone who is found to have made a false report. Wallace said school administration will be able to partner with STOPit staff to conduct an investigative process and hold the student accountable.
The school system says it hopes the use of STOPit will help them to “go beyond reacting to bullying and inappropriate behavior, and instead start deterring it.”
“As young people continue to engage more with technology every day, we are taking a proactive step to empower our students to become upstanders in our community in the way that they feel most comfortable,” the system said a press release.