For less than $2,000, the school system purchased the STOP!t application program for student phones, which will become accessible in early January at pilot school Beverley Manor Middle School and all five high schools. The cell phone app will provide students an opportunity to anonymously report when a student’s welfare is at risk or if a fellow student is abusing a substance, as well as when they witness bullying or discrimination or experience an inappropriate relationship.
“So if they don’t feel comfortable coming to an adult, to a guidance counselor or to a parent, this is another additional avenue they can report something to us,” Shifflett said.
A third-party vendor will provide 24/7 monitoring of the app, including on weekends, and will call local law enforcement if a report from a student requires such a response, “and go beyond what we are doing,” Shifflett said of school system staff and administration.
The app allows for two-way communication to gather further information from a student who reports an incident, however, the student’s cell phone number will remain anonymous to the school system.
Through STOP!t, Shifflett said students will also have access to resources about cyber abuse, depression, bullying, threats and drug or alcohol abuse.
Posters will go up in all county schools letting students know a password to access the app.