KENILWORTH — Schools here are the first in the nation to use a software tool that allows students to report incidents of cyberbullying, or bullying done through electronic devices and equipment including cell phones, computers, and tablets.
The simple-to-use product, called STOPit, will be operational for students at David Brearley Middle and High School starting the week of Feb. 17, according to Superintendent Scott Taylor.
The software app empowers children who have been exposed to cyberbullying, whether as a victim or bystander, to anonymously and securely take immediate action, Taylor said in a press release issued today, Feb. 11.
“The app enables them to seek help by efficiently informing trusted adults and school officials in order to stop the devastating effects of vicious cyber predation before it is too late,” said the superintendent, also explaining that students at the middle and high schools will have access to the STOPit software.
The software is available in two versions — an individual version, which allows parents to empower their kids, and a school version, which enables schools to empower their entire student body to fight cyberbullying.
STOPit takes a four-pronged approach to putting a halt to cyberbullying using various fully customizable features for each child:
- The STOPit button: “Stand Tall Tell All” empowers users to capture offensive material and send to preselected trusted adults including school officials.
- The HELPit button: “A Shoulder to Lean On” provides a gateway for children to seek help and advice around the clock, including talk and text options with a national crisis support network.
- The FRIENDit button: “Always Anonymous Upstander” allows witnesses of cyberbullying to capture offensive material and anonymously send to preselected trusted adults including school officials.
- The REPORTit button: “Secure Protection” enables children to document and report evidence when cyber predation escalates to a dangerous level. When cyber predators target a child, the threatening evidence can be sent to trusted adults or law enforcement officials.
Additionally, the exclusive DOCUMENTit system for schools allows administrators to manage incident reports as they come in and track response efforts, thereby maintaining detailed documentation to support any investigation.