Carmel Clay Schools has introduced a new two-way communication tool that allows students of all ages to anonymously report school safety issues, bullying, violence or other concerns.
The STOPit mobile app, launched Dec. 3, provides real-time reporting of issues and instant feedback from program monitors, which includes school resource officers, certain administrators and CCS Director of Student Services David Woodward.
The app replaces the CCS Anonymous Alert System, which will be discontinued at the end of December. The alert system is only available online and works like sending an email. Woodward said he expects STOPit will be more appealing to students and lead to more reports.
“It’s meeting the kids where they are technologically,” Woodward said.
He said several students utilized the app on its first day to report a variety of issues.
“We’ll investigate all of them and take them all very seriously,” Woodward said.
Students who use the app will remain anonymous to CCS unless they choose to reveal their identity. Incident reports can include text, screenshots and videos. Teachers, parents and community members may also submit reports.
Each school has a unique code to be used when filing a report to ensure it is delivered to the correct responders.
The app also includes a Get Help feature that provides information on local resources, such as mental health centers and crisis hotlines.
Woodward said that many students already have strong relationships with school administrators and SROs, but he hopes STOPit will be a useful tool for students who would rather not sit down and talk with an adult.
“I think ultimately what it’s going to do is strengthen the bond we have with the students so they know we’re here and we care for them,” Woodward said. “What we’re really looking for are those kids who don’t feel that they have that connection, or maybe there’s a situation where they’re not comfortable talking about, so it’s going to give them an opportunity.”
The STOPit app can be downloaded through the Apple App store or Google Play. Reports can also be made online at appweb.stopitsolutions.com/login.