NAPOLEON — Thanks to the Schools of Ohio Risk Sharing Authority (SORSA), students at Napoleon Area City Schools will soon have a tool to anonymously help stop bullying, or to report inappropriate behavior in and out of school.
Information on that tool was discussed during the regular meeting of the Napoleon Area Board of Education Wednesday evening.
The board also discussed the 2018-19 school calendar, and handled several personnel matters (see related story, page A2).
Superintendent Dr. Stephen Fogo presented information to the school board concerning the mobile app STOPit, which also can be accessed via the Internet, and that also will be available for use by parents.
“Our insurance carrier SORSA has offered to all school districts that it serves a program called STOPit … and we are going to take advantage of this program,” said Fogo. “It’s an anonymous reporting system for kids and adults which they can use to report anything. It could be weapons, drugs, bullying, inappropriate relationships, any of those types of things.
“How it works, is that there is an app parents or students can use (or they can report an incident online), with each complaint sent through a routing system. The system will route what’s being reported to the proper person, depending on the complaint or concern.”
Founded by entrepreneur Todd Schobel of New Jersey, STOPit was conceived after Schobel heard a news report about 15-year-old Amanda Todd, who took her own life after being bullied. Schobel was convinced that if young people could use technology to anonymously report bullying, or other types of inappropriate behavior, it would save lives.
STOPit is currently in thousands of schools and workplaces around the world. Data has shown that STOPit has become a powerful deterrent, because when parents or students can anonymously report inappropriate behavior, people will think twice before making bad decisions.
There will be no cost to Napoleon Area City Schools to implement the STOPit system.
“We think this is a really great program,” Fogo said. “The administrators and I will do some training in mid-January, the system will be set up, and then in late January or early February, we will send out the information in mass as to where parents and student can go to sign up.
“We think this will be a great way for our kids to provide us with concerns they have, that they may not feel comfortable sharing in person,” added Fogo. “I’ve spoken to peers in the area that are setting up the system, and they are as excited as we are to get started.”
For more information about STOPit, go to stopitsolutions.com.