A new kind of technology is being implemented in the Big Spring Independent School District in an attempt to stop students from mistreating each other, whether in the form of bullying or in any way that might be detrimental to students while in the school environment.
BSISD Superintendent Chris Wigington made the decision enroll the district into a program/app called STOPit. STOPit created an app for mobile devices for the purpose of reporting inappropriate behaviors, deterring unethical or illegal activity, and mitigating risks to the reputation and finances of schools and corporations.
“Students can download the app on their phone and make anonymous reports. The network then notifies administrators that a report has been made so they can take action,” said Wigington.
When asked how he heard about this app, Wigington said he simply searched online for such a program and when he came across it, reached out to the representative of the company. The desire to ensure that all students are taken care of is what motivated him to look for a solution.
“Hopefully this will make students feel safer and like they can freely report any activity that may be hurtful and do it anonymously,” said Wigington. “We want to make kids feel like they have a voice.”
Unfortunately, bullying isn’t just a local issue, but rather a nationwide epidemic. Drawing on his 28 years of working in education, Wigington says bullying isn’t anything new. People are just more aware of it for various reasons, he said.
“Prior to this app, another app was used but STOPit is different because students can report activity anonymously,” said Wigington.
Common activities reported through the app include hazing, sexual assault, drug dealing, weapons possession, and substance abuse.