January 7, 2019
A new app available to high school students in the Appoquinimink School District allows them to overcome certain barriers when it comes to reporting concerns about bullying, another student’s behavior, or a possible safety threat.
Tom Poehlmann knows how it goes. He is a veteran school administrator who now serves as the district’s Director of Safety and Security.
“Kids certainly aren’t going to run up to an adult and be viewed as a snitch,” Poehlmann said Monday during Monday’s introduction of the STOPit app at Appoquinimink High School.
The app allows a student to send a text message from a tablet, cell phone or a work station that is received by a school administrator. Reports received by the app are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Outside of school hours, “we have a security agency that would then follow up with an administrator, or if an administrator is not available they would contact Delaware State Police directly,” Poehlmann added.
Reports can be dealt with in as little as ten seconds.
AHS senior Ben Stewart, who got his first look at the app Monday, said the availability of anonymity and two-way communication are important assets.
“I think there were certainly some times when I didn’t really want to say anything but if I had something like this it would be much easier,” Stewart said.
“You don’t have to be afraid of repercussions by other students, laughing at you or thinking you’re not cool,” Appoquinimink junior Simone Green said.
Green is also impressed with another feature of the app.
“If you are personally struggling with something, there are resources there to help you,” Green said. “It’s a win-win, either way.”
“I think it’s going to be really great for our community.”