Jefferson School District No. 251 has come up with a new way for students and parents to anonymously voice their concerns.
For at least a few weeks, administrators have been training to use STOPit, a reporting tool for individuals to anonymously report anything “inappropriate or unsafe” directly to administrators, district superintendent Chad Martin said. Students and parents can report things like bullying, violence, discrimination, weapons possession, substance abuse and more through an app, website or a phone hotline service, according to the STOPit Solutions webpage.
Martin said reporters will have the option to share their name and contact information when using the tool, though it is intended to offer anonymity. Sherry Simmons, district director of secondary education, said middle school students in particular tend to be afraid that if they say something, they will not remain anonymous.
“I think that’s a positive, for students to have direct access to administrators in a manner that hopefully won’t be as intimidating for them,” Martin said.
Martin said the plan is to roll out the app for parents and students shortly after the Thanksgiving break. He said it will initially only be used at the high school and middle school levels, but could be implemented in elementary schools at a later date.
Martin said he and Simmons have been researching options for a few months. He said the idea for STOPit comes from other schools that provide similar ways for students to share anonymous information.
“They’ve been seeing some great results,” Martin said of schools using the tool.
Martin said administrators often hear about student activity indirectly, and said the hope is this will allow for more direct interaction. He said administrators will verify STOPit reports, follow up and take appropriate action when necessary.
“As a district, we’re always looking for ways to help kids be able to feel safe,” Simmons said.
Martin said the funding for the tool will come from the safe schools budget.
Curious why over 5,000 organizations worldwide are using STOPit’s anonymous reporting software and 24/7/365 monitoring services?