Putnam City School District Rolls Out New Anonymous Safety App
Monday, November 11th 2019, 9:23 AM CST
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Putnam City School District is working to make it easier for students to anonymously report bullying or any inappropriate behavior.
Administrators rolled out a new app called StopIt at the beginning of the year, hoping to encourage students to come forward.
A group of 8th Grade students from Capps Middle School spoke with News 9 about the app. All four, Dacha Daniels, Tanner Wood, Denivya Williams and Yuli Calderon, said they had been bullied in the past.
Wood said that he had been bullied for anything and everything ranging from what he was wearing, his classes or even who he hangs out with.
These students understand how much bullying can hurt, which is why they wanted to make sure students feel safe reporting anything that happens. Their experiences are part of the reason they helped with a video to let students know about the new safety feature available.
Administrators asked Drama teacher Austin Sterling to help with the roll out of the app.
"It has really help the administration team respond quickly to incidents," said Sterling.
Sterling said they tested the app last spring and then began regularly using it just after school started in the fall.
When an incident is reported, administrators and teachers get a notification. Each school has a certain code students use to access the app. Parents can also use StopIt, and report anything they see or hear as well.
Stelring said the notifications are also available to counselors too.
"They are able to quickly address situations where there may be self harm involved," he said.
Sterling said this app can be particularly helpful when it comes to cyber bullying, since administrators are not "friends" with students on social media.
The app has a portion where students can upload pictures and videos.
"They are available to download the app on their device," said Sterling. "So they can get things off of social media and do screen shots."
The group of students said they've already had friends use the app that said they feel more comfortable.
But the group also had another message for students.
"Just be yourself don't change," said Calderon.
The StopIt app is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.