Carthage School District Creates App for Reporting Bullying

Carthage School District Creates App for Reporting Bullying
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Combating bullying through technology, the Carthage school district created an app to be a new tool for reporting bullying incidents. Students are just learning about the app announced this week.

Students don’t get to use their phones during school at Carthage Junior high but afterward it’s a given they’ll be on them. So the district created an online app for them to report bullying.

Superintendent Sean Smith said, “We want to do our part with making sure that we address those situations quickly and according to our policy. And this is just another way to be able to do that. Also, a lot of times students don’t feel comfortable reporting it to a building administrator. This allows them to do it electronically, so they don’t have to report the situation face to face.”

Junior high counselor Rita Waynick agreed, “Sometimes kids are afraid to talk. They’re very socially aware so they don’t want to say anything that may put a negative onus on them.”

The app is modeled after an app used successfully in Shawnee Mission Kansas schools. An icon on the district website opens to a ready-made form asking for witnesses and other details. It even has drop boxes to choose locations at which the incident occurred.

A junior high teacher who has a first grader likes the idea. J erilyn Sailor said, “I’ve seen it and I know it will happen. It’s inevitable that it will happen to him or he’ll see it with his friends or to classmates. And so, I hope that he learns to stand up for himself and for his friends and classmates. But I think it will be great to have something to do at home away from the bullying environment.”

For years the junior high has had a bully box out in the hallway. It rarely has complaints in it. The counselor thinks the online app will have better results. Waynick said, “We’re hoping that without it being out in public, someplace out in public, that if there are situations of bullying we’re able to get those kids come to out of the woodwork and let us know.”

And the superintendent added, “There will have to be follow up conversations, but the initial talking about it, is where the gap is.”

Once the form is submitted, it goes as an email to the designated bullying coordinator for the school chosen. The app can be used by anyone even community members who witness bullying.