Director of School Safety and Emergency Management T.J. Slaughter updated the board on school safety initiatives within the city.
Among other items, Slaughter said that the school system will soon be incorporating a new app called “STOPit” which will allow students to anonymously report incidents of bullying, hazing or other inappropriate behaviors.
Students will even be able to share photos and videos of the incidents they are reporting if they so choose, Slaughter said. The information will be provided to administrators within the school system, he said, and although the administrators will not know the identity of the student reporting the incident, they will be able to message the student and ask follow-up questions if they need more information.
The program is free thanks to a grant from the Virginia Municipal League, Slaughter added.
During Slaughter’s presentation, school board vice-chair Donna Dillard asked if the school system will investigate every alleged incident of bullying.
“I’ve asked the administrators to address every bullying problem,” Superintendent Dr. Zeb Talley said. “Sometimes they’re not founded, but we owe it to the students to address them all. Students feeling safe is essential to the learning environment.”