WACO, Texas — Waco Independent School District is introducing a safety app that will allow parents, teachers and others to anonymously report bullying, dangerous situations and other dangerous activity, according to school officials.
Officials say "STOPit" is an online and app-based system that enables anyone to report an incident.
“There’s always a stigma around tattling or snitching, which makes it harder for students to feel comfortable enough to speak up,” said Dr. Rachelle Warren, assistant superintendent for student services and support. "Bullies are empowered by a culture of silence, so we hope the "STOPit" tool will empower students and give them a new way to stand up for themselves and others," say officials.
Officials say users can submit an incident report consisting of an image, video and/or text. Administrators can respond to the incident and get help to the student in need, according to officials.
The app also allows for two-way communication between students and administrators, per officials.
Funding for the platform is being provided through the Stop School Violence Act by a Department of Justice grant awarded to ESC Region 12 last October.
“We are grateful to Region 12 for providing us the opportunity to utilize this very valuable tool,” said Dr. Susan Kincannon, superintendent. “Providing a safe way for students to report any harm or if they feel in danger is just another layer of protection for their well-being. While "STOPit" won’t replace the relationships that we want staff to build with our students, we hope the app will encourage them to feel safer reporting bullying or other concerns and not fear retaliation.”
More information and resources including videos and FAQs can be found online at here.