What’s past is prologue. True for human history, and even so with bullying in K-12 schools.
Thanks to insight gained from a robust program to collect and analyze reporting data submitted through the STOPit mobile app, clear trends emerge in every school, predicting when reports of bullying tend to ebb and flow. Knowing when an incident is most likely to occur can be the key to helping you STOPit.
STOPit is known first and foremost as a means for students to anonymously report bullying and other misconduct. But what separates the award-winning app from its competitors are its sophisticated analytics tools which enable schools to collect and interpret their reporting data. Using one of several, sophisticated and highly customizable reporting tools included in the STOPit solution, schools can easily spot signs of ongoing problems or patterns that can help predict – and ultimately thwart – future issues.
“As companies become more data-driven each day, STOPit’s ability to collect Behavioral Analytics data can be very helpful to schools,” said Julianne Shillington, Assistant Vice President, Specialty Markets, Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. “Behavioral Analytics can help schools identify common trends and patterns of bullying and aid them in planning ahead to respond and protect their communities and students in an efficient manner.”
For example, researchers at STOPit recently conducted an analysis of all reporting activity among the nearly 2,300 participating schools nationwide for the 2017-18 school year and found some common threads with the two previous years. Perhaps the most notable was the major spike in reports that took place about two to four weeks into all three school years. STOPit Solutions Chief Revenue Officer Neil Hooper said the data points to a universal bullying pattern that schools should plan for.
“School opens, the aggressor finds the most vulnerable kids, they do some test bullying and then they start to get very aggressive and the climate goes downhill from there,” Hooper said. “If you did nothing else, I would ask that you buy STOPit and use it for the first month, because that will catch some behavior early that you can address and then you may not have some of these incidents later on.”
According to Hooper, schools can count on seeing dips in reports over the fall-winter holidays, followed by another surge when students return to school. There’s also a rise in reports during October’s National Bullying Prevention Month as assemblies and class discussions encourage kids to confront the issue, and modest increases in incidents around high school finals and proms.
As one might expect, STOPit’s analytical data clearly demonstrates that the most dramatic surges in reports are often found in the wake of national tragedies. School shooting incidents tend to make students anxious and more eager to pass along tips, while at the same time inspiring a wave of threats. In the wake of the February 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, STOPit saw the largest nationwide spike in reports in its history.
There’s good news embedded along with this sobering perspective, however. Commenting on the the uptick in reporting immediately after these crises, Hooper said,“We had at least two incidents (last year) where a copycat, a potential criminal, was beginning to speak about how they intended on shooting up their school.”. “It was reported on STOPit, police were engaged, and those issues were addressed.”
Stories like this illustrate, perfectly, one of the most significant, distinguishing features of the STOPit app — the ability to report, monitor and respond as is most appropriate for each school, incident by incident. K-12 administrators can set up their procedure so that incidents that are best handled by the school remain with the school and only those incidents that rise to the level of criminal behavior are reported to the police.
As more and more schools adopt STOPit as part of their safety and security protocols, STOPit continues to leverage analytics and customer feedback to offer more value and more options for partners. For instance, we have found that as cyberbullying has increased, the average time of the day that a report is logged has moved from 4pm to 6pm. This clear data, resulting from our analytical studies, led us to adding a 24 hour monitoring service, so schools can now be sure that STOPit is monitoring those after hours reports throughout the evening and all the way through the night.
Additionally, recent events prompted a number of customers to ask that a panic call-in number be included with the App. As a direct response to this urgent customer request, STOPit now has a call center for individuals to call in emergency tips, and this call center number can now be sorted to the top of our other resource center contacts.
Clear, Actionable Data Enables Better Solutions
Here’s a snapshot of key analytics from the recently published the US K-12 2017-2018 Activity Report:
- The top five most frequently reported incident types (in order) were misconduct, harassment, bullying, substance abuse and threats.
- The highest number of incidents are reported at 6 p.m. The day of the week with the highest number of reports was Thursday.
- The average school fielded 31.6 reports per year, or just over three per month.
- Average time spent in the STOPit Admin module: 5 minutes and 7 seconds.
These statistics present compelling insights into important, nationwide trends, gained through data submitted from a diverse range of schools across the country. For even greater insight into individual school communities, STOPit’s easy-to-use STOPit Admin platform gives administrators the tools to instantly generate reports that tell the unique stories of what’s going on with their own students in their own schools.
Call us to learn more about the STOPit solution.