SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma – Students in Sand Springs have a new way to report bullying anonymously on their cell phones. The 9th Grade Learning Center launched STOPIt, an app for students and parents to send in a tip and upload any screenshots, pictures, or videos.
“It empowers our students to have a voice of their own, and they can actually speak up for friends or a fellow classmate,” said Blaine Wise, Assistant Principal.
It’s no secret bullying goes beyond the hallways in 2018, with direct messages, group chats, and social media sites at their fingertips.
“People get judged by the things they post, and other people always have something to say about it,” said 9th-grade student Mariana Saldana. “They judge from appearances instead of getting to know other people.”
Whether the bullying happens on a school bus, in a classroom, in the hallways, or through technology, every report goes straight to administration. Wise said the staff will investigate and discipline accordingly.
“My advice is parents be involved in your child’s social media life and make sure you’re talking to them about the dangers of bullying students,” said Wise.
According to government data, 20% of 9th graders are victims of bullying, and 70% of those surveyed said they’ve watched bullying happen.
“If you see bullying, or you know of someone who’s getting bullied, not even that. If you know that someone is going through something and they need to talk to someone, I feel like it’s a good idea for you to be someone who will help out,” said Saldana.
The app also has a link to bullying information and a hotline. Skiatook Schools launched the same app in November.