SPRING VALLEY, Minn. – A lot of bullying can happen online, but now students can use an online platform to fight it.
Kingsland Public Schools, Leroy-Ostrander Public Schools, Grand Meadow, and Glenville-Emmons Public Schools are all trying out the app called STOPit this upcoming school year.
On the app, students can anonymously report any bullying, self-harm, or violent concerns. A school administrator on the receiving end can then respond to address the concern.
Scott Klavetter is the principal at Kingsland elementary school and said this is a way to adjust to the age of technology.
“If we want the kids to report, and we do, then we have to speak their language, and we have to be ready to listen in whatever way they feel they have a voice. And for many students, not all, but for many students that's through technology,” he said.
The app is available for all students K-12, appropriately customized for each age group. The new online platform will not replace in-person reporting.
“This is just one more way to try to be proactive and be preventative rather than be reactive,” Klavetter said.
The STOPit app is also helping school staff. It comes with a program called DOCUMENTit which archives every incident report so schools have tangible data on the types of incidents happening in the hall ways. It can give faculty more information on times, locations, and even individuals involved, so they can pinpoint and address any reoccurring problems.
“Not only just being aware and being able to hopefully stop or prevent things, but also being able to kind of get good data to be able to see where there may be issues and common themes we can address as a school,” Klavetter said.
Since this is the first year of STOPit app being used at Kingsland, it is still in a trial phase of when incident reports and conversations will move from the app to an in person meeting with students involved and staff.
The Kingsland Public Schools is in a one year contract with the app which costed the district about $300. After the school year, it will decide whether or not it will want to continue with the app.
Staff is getting trained on the app this week, to be able to use it in full swing when school starts on August 20.