Officials Hope Bully App Will Stop Bad Actors

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Piedmont Public Schools announced Monday that students will have a better way to report bullying through a smartphone app.

The STOPit app can capture text messages, photos and video to support a student’s claim of abuse or aggressive behavior.

“STOPit gives our students a confidential and real-time technology platform to report threatening or concerning behaviors or situations. We are excited to offer this tool to our students and school community,” Shawn Blankenship, executive director of administrative services, said in a prepared statement.

The app allows students to report the information without revealing their own identity. Administrators can log into the app’s management system, find the data and communicate anonymously with the reporting student.

District officials hope the app will turn students who watch abuse as a bystander become an “upstander” and report the incident.

“As young people continue to engage more with technology every day, we are taking a proactive step to empower our students to become Upstanders in our community in the way that they feel most comfortable. We believe our adoption of STOPit is an important step in our continued effort to provide a positive school climate and a safe learning environment for our students,” the district’s prepared statement reads.

The district has recently had a rash of bullying incidents, which led to a middle school student’s suspension and wrongful accusations against another student which did not result in disciplinary action against the accused.

The app will be available to students on Jan. 11. It was unclear how much the app will cost the district.

The STOPit app was designed for schools, universities, workplaces and government agencies.

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