Apps Let Students Report Bullying Anonymously

Find out how technology companies are using tech to fight cyberbullying

When it comes to bullying, most teachers and administrators encourage students to report it when they see it. But that might be harder than most adults realize. Bystanders often fear retaliation if they report bullying and often remain silent when they witness bullying.

With this in mind, a growing number of technology companies have dedicated themselves to developing bullying prevention and reporting apps that can be used on mobile devices.

By doing so, they are providing a valuable service to schools that are looking for teen-friendly ways to address bullying. Here is an overview of two different apps schools and businesses can use to empower students and employees to report bullying.

Anonymous Alerts. This patent pending app allows users to send anonymous reports directly to school officials. Students can report anonymously or can choose to reveal their identity during the process and have a person-to-person discussion. As a result, students can have a private, encrypted two-way text conversation with a school official.

Students also have the option to add a photo, screenshot or video to their incident report. What’s more, Anonymous Alerts allows kids to safely share any sort of harmful behavior including bullying, drug dealing or a student carrying a weapon. Meanwhile, there school officials can communicate directly with students through private, anonymous messages.

Meanwhile, the app is designed to bring schools into compliance with bullying laws and requirements. For instance, administrators can forward messages to other school officials for actionable student reports. There also is a mechanism for archiving messages for instant access as well as a note-taking feature for incident follow-up.

The app also comes equipped with international language translations for ease of use when dealing language barriers.

Stop!t. This app lets students anonymously report bullying as well. With Stop!t, students can take a screenshot, a photo or a video of offensive behavior and send it to a school contact anonymously. And to deter fictitious reporting, administrators have the ability to deactivate accounts that abuse the app.

Students also have to 24-hour, seven-day a week access to a crisis call center via talk or text. And they can have a two-way anonymous communication with a Stop!t messenger.

In the meantime, administrators receive real-time reports from students that are time and date stamped for compliance and legal protection. The app also has built-in reporting tools for schools to measure their progress and identify trends. Finally, schools can export data and set up automatic alerts to flag when certain students have recurred as bullies, victims of bullying or reporters.

The app also comes equipped with inspiration boards designed to promote digital etiquette and prevent cyberbullying.

Why Reporting Apps Are Useful

While anti-bullying technology is designed to give students a way to report bullying anonymously, the real benefit of these apps may be their ability to deter bullying, developers say. When bullies and mean girls realize there is a very real chance they could be reported anonymously for bullying, they lose some of their power and control in the situation; and they are more likely to think twice before engaging in bullying, relational aggression or cyberbullying.

What’s more, developers have realized that these apps are way to help kids struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, alcohol or drug abuse and weapons on campus. As a result, the app can be used to supplement counseling issues as well as serve as an added security measure. It also gives schools a back-end system to gauge what is happening and where so that administrators can adjust policies and procedures to not only address bullying but also to increase the safety of the school. 

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