Surveys show that two-thirds of kids are bullied at least once a month for things like weight, wealth, shyness, ethnicity, or learning disabilities. Although bullying is terrible, a lot of kids are afraid to speak up about it because they don’t want to be labeled a “tattletale.” Well, there’s a website that’s hoping to help. We read about this in the Salt Lake Tribune.
The website is SchoolTipLine.com, and it was started by Justin Bergener – a student at Brigham Young University. Students can go to the website and anonymously report problems that are then passed on to school officials. The hope is that if students can report problems anonymously, they’ll be more likely to speak up about issues like bullying. So far, six schools in Utah and about 50 schools in other states are using the website to help them deal with problems ranging from bullying to fights to drugs.
So how does it work? Basically, schools sign up to participate on the website. A school’s students can then submit anonymous reports on the website – which go to school officials. Schools that don’t sign up can still receive reports from students, but can’t communicate with them online after receiving the reports. Many schools are participating for free as part of a pilot program, but other schools now pay for a premium version which includes the ability for students to text message reports to their schools. Students and parents can invite their schools to join schooltipline.com.
So is the website helping? Rosanna Ungerman is principal at a middle school which is using the website, and she says the website has already helped administrators prevent several fights. Ungerman says many students don’t want to be seen talking to the principal. So, it allows students to have an outlet to report things they might otherwise have kept to themselves. An assistant principal at another school using the site says even some PARENTS have reported incidents anonymously.