(ABC 6 News)– Kingsland Public Schools in Spring Valley open their doors to students on Aug. 20.
On the first day of school, students will download an app called STOPit that lets them report bullying with the tap of a finger.
Kingsland 7-12 Principal and Superintendent James Hecimovich says students don’t always speak up about their problems.
“Not all of them were reporting bullying until it was too late,” said Hecimovich.
He says STOPit will change things because it allows students to send messages completely anonymously.
“We’re hoping it reaches that silent minority that is afraid of self-advocating or fear that there will be retaliation,” said Hecimovich.
Students can download the app or use a school computer to report a problem through the software. They can also attach photos and videos.
Chief Revenue Officer for STOPit Solutions Neil Hooper says one of the best features is that school administrators can message back.
“You don’t really just want an anonymous report on its own. You want the ability to reach back out to the student and ask for more information,” said Hooper.
Hecimovich hopes this teaches kids self-advocacy and gives them a way to say something if they see that someone else is hurt.
“If you see another kid being bullied, or harassed or injured, report on their behalf and help us out so we can stop it,” said Hecimovich.
Hooper says the app creates an avenue for students to do this.
“We hear everyone say, if you see something, say something. Now they have a way to do it,” said Hooper.
Four other school districts in South East Minnesota will begin using STOPit this year.