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App Can Thwart Bullying

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COURT HOUSE – According to Nick De Mauro, chief executive officer of Law Enforcement Against Drugs (L.E.A.D.), technology can play a meaningful role in stopping bullies from terrorizing children and some adults in schools, college campuses and businesses across the country.

L.E.A.D. is a non-profit organization whose mission is “To provide resources and educational programs to communities and organizations supporting law enforcement initiatives and services.”

Through a partnership with STOP!T, a technology firm that specializes in this software, L.E.A.D. trained local law enforcement instructors make presentations at schools kindergarten through 12th grade to provide instruction on anti-bullying techniques and the app, as well as anti-drug initiatives similar to the well-established DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program.

De Mauro added that “Stop !t is part of L.E.A.D.’s “on the street” mission. We are the official school-based law enforcement program of Stop !t. Our goal is to reduce bullying by supporting a platform that helps address the problem and deters bullying at its onset.”

Catie Drury, L.E.A.D. spokesperson, stated “Kids can go onto the app if they are being bullied or if they see a situation where one kid is being bullied by another.”

She explained that the app automatically notifies school officials of the situation, and the child who initiated the message remains anonymous. The school or business then takes whatever action is appropriate.

This technology is designed to be used in educational institutions including colleges, as well as businesses where any inappropriate behavior may occur; the belief is that the existence of this system will deter those who are inclined to bully others, and also provide the institution with a more accurate picture of the extent of bullying that may be occurring in their institution.

According to its website, STOP!T is “a technology that provides a comprehensive software platform that mitigates, deters and controls inappropriate conduct and provides organizational transparency.”

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