ENID, Okla. — Enid Public Schools has implemented an anonymous reporting app, allowing students to alert school officials to bullying, hazing and other inappropriate behaviors or dangerous situations without identifying themselves.
Through the STOPit app, by tech company STOPit Solutions, students can send reports complete with text, images and video. Designated district employees will receive an alert on their phones or computers when a report is sent in, can review them and decide what action to take.
"STOPit empowers students with an easy app to safely and anonymously report anything of concern to school officials — from cyberbullying to threats of violence or self-harm," according to the district.
Administrators also can reach out to tipsters with a messenger tool included in the app, allowing for "100 percent anonymous two-way chat," according to the company.
“STOPit allows students to share their concerns using a medium that is comfortable to them — their cellphone,” said Jason Priest, director of school safety and security. “They can also report their concern anonymously without worrying about their safety or retribution. We believe the adoption of this program is an important step in our continued effort to provide a positive school climate and a safe learning environment for students.”
To use the STOPit app, students must enter a specific code assigned to their school. Posters with the code have been placed around each school site, according to a district release.
STOPit Solutions said its platform is an effective deterrent. Not only helpful in putting an end to issues that arise but for preventing them from the start.
"When students are comfortable sharing information with you, you will get the information you need to maintain a positive school climate and get students the help they need. You will have the ability to address issues early on, before they spiral out of control," according to company information.
"STOPit streamlines your processes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of investigations with STOPit’s case management system. STOPit is also a powerful deterrent. Students start thinking twice before making a bad decision."
Enid Public Schools was able to implement the app at no cost, according to the district, "thanks to a partnership with its insurance provider, the Oklahoma Schools Insurance Group."
Besides the app, students also can file reports on their Chromebooks, according to district information.
Though EPS is rolling out a new way for kids to share their concerns, face to face interaction is always welcome.
"While the app will provide students with anonymity and convenience, they also are encourage to continue to talk with school adults in person about their concerns, if they prefer," according to a district release.
For information, go to www.enidpublicschools.org/stopit.