An Open Letter on Recent Events from STOPit Solutions CEO Tim Makris

To Our Team, Customers, Business Partners, and Investors:

Once again, the black community is living and feeling the pain of injustice. I am disgusted and angry. And as witnessed in countless news reports and on social media, this anger is being expressed by millions who care about this social injustice and racism. The murder of George Floyd is the latest case of why our voices and actions are needed to create a just and equal society. Our hope is you join in making a difference where you live – in your community and in your home.

Despite some progress, Black Americans continue to be denied rights, respect, and dignity that most take for granted. Racism is the ugly core and enabler of these denials. As long as it exists, we will not be able to progress to true freedom, justice, and equality. At STOPit Solutions, we want you … our team members, customers, partners, and investors … to know that we are an organization built on diversity and inclusion. We want you to know that these fundamentals are the cornerstone of our values and principles. And that we will always protect you when threatened, including, and re-stating, having zero tolerance toward racism, injustice, and hatred.

Recently our team got together and discussed the importance of having real conversations, sharing difficult thoughts and vulnerabilities, and having open, honest relationships and friendships – these are fundamental to our organization’s soul. These very same drivers are needed to accomplish change in our communities. We stand with our team members, customer team members, business partners, investors, and communities within which we all live. We WILL always listen, speak up and act – that is who we are and more importantly, that is what we must do to end hatred, racism, and social injustice.

Please take the time to talk with colleagues and partners impacted by this injustice if they are ready and want to talk. Be compassionate toward the strain this has put on their mental wellness. Research and take a role in this effort in your community through organizations such as Black Lives Matter, Campaign Zero, Cities United, and/or Color of Change. Additionally, over the coming days and weeks, we will hold a series of discussions on this topic as an organization and will be accelerating the formation of a cross-organization committee on and implementation of race, equity, diversity, and inclusion principles.

I know this is not easy, no multi-generational problems are, but it is our obligation as an organization and as humans to support one another and create change because … Black Lives Matter.

Tim Makris, CEO, STOPit Solutions

STOPit Solutions Names Tim Makris Chief Executive Officer

HOLMDEL, N.J., June 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Board of Directors of STOPit Solutions has named Tim Makris as the company’s Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Makris was previously Co-Founder and Managing Director at Sandy Hook Promise, one of the nation’s leading school safety organizations.

STOPit Solutions Board Chair Kevin Kilcullen said, “I am delighted to welcome Tim as our new CEO. Tim is a proven leader who has excelled at strategic leadership and execution and is well-positioned to accelerate STOPit’s growth within K-12 schools, higher education, local and federal government and within the workplace.” With more than 32 years in leadership roles in sales, marketing, and general management at Proctor & Gamble, Gillette, Kellogg, Thule and Sandy Hook Promise, Tim has demonstrated a strong track record in initiating and leading change, driving results, and innovating within highly competitive markets. Additionally, Tim brings business acumen, integrity, passion for diversity and inclusion, and commitment to team development. These qualities have allowed him to be very successful in all he has been part of and now he will bring them to STOPit Solutions.

Parkhill Mays, who previously led STOPit Solutions as President, will continue in his role with critical oversight of finance and operations reporting into Tim. “The Board wishes to thank Parkhill for his leadership and outstanding accomplishments,” said Kevin Kilcullen. “He has set the organization up for success and we are grateful for all he has done. We know, with the addition of Tim, that we now have an all-star team.”

In addition to his new commitment to STOPit Solutions, Tim will also continue his passion of giving back through his various Board and Advisory roles with local and national non-profit organizations, associations, and universities.

STOPit Solutions is the nation’s leading anonymous reporting system that teaches how to identify and get help for individuals displaying violent, unsafe, or harmful behaviors. Over 6,000 schools use STOPit to proactively maintain a safe, healthy school climate and get students the help they need, when they need it before an incident escalates to a crisis. This results in thousands of successful interventions every year – including lives being saved.

FULL STORY

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More SC Schools Offering Anonymous Tip Apps For Students To Report Bullying, Threats

By Jenna Schiferl

In an era where mass shootings have become more commonplace, school districts across South Carolina are beginning to implement cellphone apps that allow students to anonymously submit tips to report school threats, vandalism, bullying, drug usage, suicide attempts or any other potentially dangerous activity they observe.

The reasoning is simple. Advocates say that by providing students with the ability to anonymously report things with the devices at their fingertips, tragedies can be prevented and lives saved.

The challenge is creating a culture and environment where students feel comfortable enough to speak up.

Dozens of school districts in the Palmetto State have partnered with school safety-oriented tech companies to offer more options for students to report concerning behavior.

Many of these districts have partnered with STOPit Solutions. The New Jersey-based company has implemented its anonymous reporting services in 29 school districts in South Carolina, serving roughly 330 schools and about 184,000 students, according to company President Parkhill Mays.

Most of those districts have set up STOPit services within the past six months for free, thanks to a partnership with the S.C. School Boards Insurance Trust.

While many districts have offered some sort of hotline for students to report things for many years, “the big problem they bring about in education is they’re not anonymous,” Mays said, since many of them have some form of caller ID.

“There’s something about typing into a faceless, nameless keyboard that’s very comfortable for a student, compared to making an appointment and meeting with an adult or calling a phone number,” Mays said.

In South Carolina, STOPit has received tips on more than 2,000 actionable incidents over the past six months. Those numbers are going up rapidly, Mays said.

“It only takes one to make a life-saving difference,” he said.

Working from the inside out

In Charleston County, the STOPit app was implemented at Haut Gap Middle School after authorities confiscated a gun and more than a dozen rounds of ammunition that a 13-year-old student brought on campus.

A teacher was tipped off that the student had brought a firearm to school in a backpack after receiving a handwritten note from another student. The student who submitted the note alleged the other student “said he was going to shoot us,” according to an incident report.

Now, students can submit tips through STOPit three different ways: via the mobile application, a desktop website or a 24/7 hotline, said Director of Security and Emergency Management Michael Reidenbach.

“Schools are secured from the outside in, but we have to think about what we have to do to keep students safe from the inside out,” said Haut Gap parent Kelly Loyd.

Curious why over 5,000 organizations worldwide are using STOPit’s anonymous reporting software and 24/7/365 monitoring services?

Lex-Rich 5 Launches New App Promoting Student Safety

By Alicia Neaves

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A new app in Lexington-Richland School District Five gives students another avenue to report information to administrators without giving their name.

It’s called STOPit, and it launched this week in all middle, intermediate and high school campuses in the district.

STOPit is another option students can use to reach out for help. 

“We want to take something students and staff are very comfortable with, which is technology, and use that to further enhance our safety and our accessibility to administration in ways that they can reach out and ask for help so we can continue to maximize teaching and learning across the district,” said Kelly Brown, Student Services Officer with Lex-Rich 5.

Several schools in the district already had systems in place to report an incident anonymously, but the new app creates one district-wide system at no additional cost.

“The concerns could range from anything the student is experiencing,” said Brown. “They may see suspicious activity or if there was a bullying incident or a threat, or any type of self-harm or mental health concerns.”

STOPit sends reports anonymously. Students can access the app from anywhere using their smart phones or Chromebooks. 

They can upload pictures and videos from their device to the app to explain what’s going on without having to step foot in an office.

“When they report it, it immediately alerts administration,” said Brown. “So we are able to intervene and respond and provide intervention, resources and support strategies to the student and the family.”

To get started, students use a special code for their school.

“I think we’re gonna see a huge jump in the reporting of things that students see,” said Beth Thompson, who has children in middle school and high school in Lex-Rich 5.

Thompson believes the STOPit app takes anonymity to a new level.

“Even though they have other avenues to report [issues] anonymously, there is still that fear of, ‘Did they see me go in the office? Did this person see me talking to that administrator?'” said Thompson.

Reporting a concern can break trust in friendships at a critical age. But Thompson says this new app can help prevent that.

“This allows them a quick and easy way to report that without it ever having to come back on them personally,” she said. “Whether it be with a friend, or someone who might be bullying them or they witness it happening, or whether it be they’re worried about the social or physical impact.”

“My child and my children’s friends are less likely to slip through a crack. Like, ‘I was gonna report it but I just didn’t get time.’ It’s right there,” she added.

District officials hope to launch the app in elementary schools within the next month.

The app is for students and staff only. In case of an incident, members of the public should contact a school administrator or law enforcement.

Curious why over 5,000 organizations worldwide are using STOPit’s anonymous reporting software and 24/7/365 monitoring services?

Midlands School District Gives Students New Tool To Anonymously Report Incidents

By Tim Scott

Some students might be scared to come forward about incidents involving their peers because their name might be attached.

Now, with the STOPit App, administrators in middle and high schools across Lexington Richland School District Five can respond to incidents in real-time without knowing who submitted a report.

“The option of having this anonymous reporting app is a great one because it gets that chance to start that dialogue and starts to let them let go of some of that stuff, and not just let them focus on it and eat them up,” said Michael Carothers, the Assistant Principal at Chapin Middle School.

If students, teachers, and staff experience an incident, they can simply go on the app, click report, fill out information about the incident, and within seconds, administrators will respond.

“This way it’s going to come straight to us. We’ll determine who needs that information. Being anonymous allows them to reach out, and reach out to one of us so we can hear what they have to say,” said Anita Long, the Assistant Principal at Chapin Middle School.

The president of STOPit Solutions, the company that makes the app, says the technology is being used in 28 school districts across the state, serving more than 330 schools.

Leaders with Lexington Richland School District Five say this gives students the strength to report incidents without fear of retaliation.

“We want our students to feel empowered with this tool to speak up, to say something, and it allows us to immediately become aware with their concerns so that we can intervene much quicker and in a much more timely fashion,” said Kelly Brown, the Student Safety Officer at Lexington Richland School District Five.

Lexington Richland School District Five has already introduced the app on all student devices in middle and high schools, and plan on rolling it out to all of their schools.

Curious why over 5,000 organizations worldwide are using STOPit’s anonymous reporting software and 24/7/365 monitoring services?

SC Midlands School District Rolls Out App To Let Students Anonymously Report Bullying

By Lucas Daprille

A Midlands school district is introducing a new app that will allow students to anonymously report bullying and threats, officials said Thursday.

Lexington-Richland 5 is introducing the STOPit app — made by New Jersey-based company STOPit solutions — to all high, middle and intermediary school students, which will allow them to send texts, pictures and video from their smartphones to school administrators, the district said in a press release.

Once an administrator sees the report, he or she can continue to talk back and forth with the student without the student having to share his or her name, the press release said.

“With STOPit, we are doing more than just helping schools address incidents and mitigating risk,” Kelly Brown, the district’s student services officer, said in the press release. “It is allowing us to go beyond reacting, and instead deter incidents in some cases.”

Some schools in Lexington-Richland 5 have a system to report anonymous complaints, but this would be the first time the service is available to all schools, the press release said.

The press release said the service adds “no additional cost” to the district.

It’s becoming more common for school districts to offer apps with anonymous reporting. Both Richland 1 and Richland 2 offer anonymous reporting through their apps, spokeswomen from the districts told The State.

Curious why over 5,000 organizations worldwide are using STOPit’s anonymous reporting software and 24/7/365 monitoring services?

Students Can Anonymously Report Concerns With New App

By Mitchell Willetts

ENID, Okla. — Enid Public Schools has implemented an anonymous reporting app, allowing students to alert school officials to bullying, hazing and other inappropriate behaviors or dangerous situations without identifying themselves.

Through the STOPit app, by tech company STOPit Solutions, students can send reports complete with text, images and video. Designated district employees will receive an alert on their phones or computers when a report is sent in, can review them and decide what action to take.

“STOPit empowers students with an easy app to safely and anonymously report anything of concern to school officials — from cyberbullying to threats of violence or self-harm,” according to the district.

Administrators also can reach out to tipsters with a messenger tool included in the app, allowing for “100 percent anonymous two-way chat,” according to the company.

“STOPit allows students to share their concerns using a medium that is comfortable to them — their cellphone,” said Jason Priest, director of school safety and security. “They can also report their concern anonymously without worrying about their safety or retribution. We believe the adoption of this program is an important step in our continued effort to provide a positive school climate and a safe learning environment for students.”

To use the STOPit app, students must enter a specific code assigned to their school. Posters with the code have been placed around each school site, according to a district release.

 

STOPit Solutions said its platform is an effective deterrent. Not only helpful in putting an end to issues that arise but for preventing them from the start.

“When students are comfortable sharing information with you, you will get the information you need to maintain a positive school climate and get students the help they need. You will have the ability to address issues early on, before they spiral out of control,” according to company information.

“STOPit streamlines your processes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of investigations with STOPit’s case management system. STOPit is also a powerful deterrent. Students start thinking twice before making a bad decision.”

Enid Public Schools was able to implement the app at no cost, according to the district, “thanks to a partnership with its insurance provider, the Oklahoma Schools Insurance Group.”

Besides the app, students also can file reports on their Chromebooks, according to district information.

Though EPS is rolling out a new way for kids to share their concerns, face to face interaction is always welcome.

“While the app will provide students with anonymity and convenience, they also are encourage to continue to talk with school adults in person about their concerns, if they prefer,” according to a district release.

 

Curious why over 5,000 organizations worldwide are using STOPit’s anonymous reporting software and 24/7/365 monitoring services?

Safety App Lets Delaware Students Report Bullying, Dangerous Situations

By 

School administrators are increasingly looking to connect with students where they are — and that means on their phones. Now some are using that technology to create a safer school climate and trying to help kids in distress.

Delaware’s Colonial School District now has joined a handful of others in the state by introducing a safety app that lets students anonymously report bullying, dangerous situations and other troubling matters.

At William Penn High in New Castle, Colonial supervisor John Barr showed senior Leah Green how to download the STOPit app to her phone. Then Barr gave her a tutorial on how to report issues such as a looming fight or concerns over a student’s mental health.

“So you are going to select, whether it’s a bullying issue, the location, if it was at the bus stop, the cafeteria,’’ Barr counseled, showing her a variety of options.

“This is a 24/7 monitored application,” he said. “So it will notify the folks that are designated at the district, and we will decipher what kind of emergency it is and get you the help you are requiring.”

Green said that students need such a vehicle to let teachers and administrators know what’s happening at Penn, the largest high school in the state with nearly 2,300 students.

“It would be much easier to report the incidents that happen in our school because so much happens and not everybody knows about it,’’ she said.

She noted that students share information “on social media, but adults aren’t up on all that stuff.”

Green also likes the anonymity, pointing out that students fear the backlash from reporting problems that are ongoing, imminent or brewing.

“You don’t want to be a snitch or get involved in drama,’’ she said. “So this app is going to help students be able to talk to the administration without putting themselves in danger.”

Penn sophomore Andre Monroe agrees.

“I like the anonymous part of it because many students of course are dealing with peer pressure,’’ he said. “Especially with fights, you don’t want to be known as the student that went to the principal’s office and snitched.”

The app, developed by Holmdel, N.J.-based STOPIt Solutions about five years ago, is available in a handful of Delaware’s 19 school districts, including Appoquinimink and Milford, company president Parkhill Mays III said.

The app is also being used by 160,000 New Jersey students and 2.9 million students nationwide, Mays said. The cost to schools is about $1 a year per student.

“We give students a simple and powerful tool to reach out for help and they can reach out anonymously and securely,’’ Mays said. “All our focus groups show that you need to give a young person the ability to stay anonymous. They don’t like traditional ways of reaching out, like a telephone, and there’s something about typing into a faceless, nameless keyboard.”

The app even has a chat feature that lets students have anonymous conversations with school leaders. Barr said he sees the app helping Colonial defuse simmering situations before they explode, and providing needed assistance to struggling kids.

The app is being rolled out at Penn and Colonial’s three middle schools but will eventually be expanded to district elementary schools and all 10,000 students.

It’s costing Colonial about $20,000 over two years, courtesy of a state safety grant, but Barr said it’s a worthwhile investment.

“If we can help one kid save a life, stop an event, it’s worth it,’’ he said.

Tom Poehlmann, director of safety and security at Appoquinimink in southern New Castle County, said STOPit has been in use for a year and is currently generating about 120 reports per month.

Initially, he said, kids put bogus or “nonsense” reports on the app such as a teacher who gives too much homework but that practice has ceased and instead the app had alerted schools to serious situations. For example, he said, a friend reported that a girl was harming herself and officials arranged for an evaluation almost immediately.

“We take this stuff seriously and we want to stamp it as quickly as we can,” Poehlmann said.

Green’s mother Dawn said it could help kids in distress. She plans to download the app and encourage other parents to do so as well.

“There’s a lot of cases of kids feeling hopeless and feeling suicidal,” Green said. “I’m hoping kids at least feel like they can maybe report that a friend is feeling that way.”

 

Curious why over 5,000 organizations worldwide are using STOPit’s anonymous reporting software and 24/7/365 monitoring services?

Got a bully? There’s an app for that

By Jessica Fuller

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – Elizabethton students have a new, anonymous way to report bullying.

The school system rolled out its subscription to the STOPit app last week, an anonymous reporting app that students can use to report incidents such as bullying, threats or mental health concerns.

Assistant director of Elizabethton schools Richard VanHuss said students can download the app, type ‘Elizabethton’ into the keyword search, and select their school to begin the reporting process.

“We always run into the situation where kids may not feel comfortable talking one-on-one about an issue,” he said. “This gives them, it kind of gets into their world, what they’re used to, and that’s the use of technology.”

Students answer questions about the incident before sending it to administrators for review. Students are able to attach photos or screenshots to the report.

“The neat feature of it is it allows the administrator, once they receive the report, they can anonymously talk back and forth with the student via text, via message, just to get additional information if they need that,” VanHuss said.

The reporting system is also included within the new app for Elizabethton High School, which rolled out this week.

VanHuss said measures like anonymous reporting apps are becoming more common in the face of cyberbullying. He said students who face bullying from peers online may also report those incidents.

The app also includes resources for suicide prevention, VanHuss added, including the National Suicide Prevention hotline.

False reports are a concern for administrators, VanHuss said, which is why students must acknowledge that false reports will be investigated before submitting a report.

While he said it may increase the workload for administrators, he said he is excited to reap the benefits of the app.

“It’s a proactive tool in our minds that we can get a jump on anything that may potentially be an issue,” he said, adding, “Any situation, if they’re concerned, they’ve heard a comment about a student maybe making threats or anything like that.”

Curious why over 5,000 organizations worldwide are using STOPit’s anonymous reporting software and 24/7/365 monitoring services?

6 Effective Tools for Reporting Harassment in the Workplace in 2020

By Staff Writer

Gallup’s study had several interesting insights. Worryingly, U.S. adults seem to be less concerned about this issue in 2019 than they were two years back. However, respondents were widely in agreement that sexual harassment is a “major problem,” with 70% of women and 53% of men talking about this issue.

Employers must adopt a culture where reporting harassment in the workplace is easy and free of stigma. This would increase accountability, inviting employees at every rung to put their best foot forward without fear of discrimination or inappropriate behavior. It also shows employees that organizations care about them, an essential driver of job satisfaction and security.

Here are six tools that can help you achieve this in 2020, arranged in no particular order.

1. STOPit Solutions


STOPit offers an end-to-end suite of tools for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. It comprises an employee-facing portal to capture reports, anonymize communication, and provide two-way messaging support. At the backend, it offers an incident management platform to review and act on these reports. STOPit also comes with an incident monitoring service, comprising a team who will listen to incoming reports 24/7/365. You can follow up with employees anonymously using this solution to ensure that they see their commitment to justice through.

STOPit follows a bespoke pricing model, and costs are based on the size and nature of your business.

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