LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) –Lebanon High School is hoping the use of a new program will help combat everything from threats of violence to cyberbullying.
It’s an app called STOPit that allows students to anonymously report anything they’re concerned about.
The reports can be made directly to a school official.
Lebanon High officials say it empowers students to stand up for themselves and others, but it also provides administrators with the insight needed to keep students safe.
Students can submit any evidence they have, such as screenshots, pictures, or video clips, as part of their report.
“The anonymous feature gives students the opportunity to report anything they want, without being fearful. If a student is being harassed by an adult, we need to know about it. If a student is a threat to themselves, we need to know about it,” said Principal Dr. Scott Walters.
The school’s communication director, Jennifer Johnson, explained to News 2 how school officials would handled reports from the app.
“There are some people who are concerned that this campaign will be a witch hunt. And the bottom line is if there’s not enough information or evidence for us to verify that a claim is accurate, then nothing is going to happen. But the beauty of the system is it allows us to keep a record. So that let’s say someone receives a bullying complaint against them, and we can’t verify it, then nothing will happen, but if we get five more then it might become a pattern and we can start to look more deeply into that,” said Johnson.
According to a press release, once a report is filed, it’s immediately sent to an administrator, counselor, or SRO, who will respond to the student as quickly as possible in an exchange that’s similar to an online chat. Neither the student, nor the faculty member, will know the identity of the person they’re communicating with.
All incident reports and conversations will be stored in the system, allowing schools to maintain thorough records on every complaint or incident.
In the coming months, the STOPit app will also be launched at the county’s three other high schools. Approximately 60 schools statewide are currently using the App.