SWANSEA, S.C. — Lexington School District Four has announced the use of a new app to help students stop bullying in schools.
In today's world, bullying doesn't just happen at school or even just in person. A lot of the times, it can happen online through social media.
Students in the 7th to 12th grade will be able to start using the app, STOPit, on Wednesday, November 20th.
According to the district, students will be able to submit report anonymously to the school administration and communicate with a school administrator, and be notified when the report has wrapped up.
Lexington Four said in a Facebook post, "The STOPit app empowers students to stand up for themselves and for one another. Students have the power to help put an end to harmful and inappropriate behavior they see online through social media and other means. They can use STOPit to reach out for help if they or a peer are facing a personal crisis or experiencing bullying, abuse, or are otherwise in need of assistance. Our goal with STOPit is to create school communities which are safe and welcoming."
When students make a report, they are not required to identify themselves. Students can identify who they are in the report, only if they choose to.
Dawn Patterson, an assistant principal at the school, says it should be a big benefit for the students and faculty.
"We hope that this allow our students to know that they are listened to, that they are safe, and that there are ways that they can communicate with us to let us know of any kind of concerns that they may have," said Patterson.
The assistant principal says the app allows students to report incidents, even during after school hours.
"It allows them to report any kind of issues, whether there's an issue with bullying, if they feel that there is a threat, if they think someone may have something they don't need to have or they feel that someone may have a weapon," explained Patterson.
Lexington Four says, "School and district personnel will determine the appropriateness of STOPit for use in the lower grades based upon what we learn while using the system with the upper grades. Students who do not have access to a smart device will have other reporting options at a later date."
Kenneth Jenkins, a junior at Swansea High, says it's going to be a difference maker for him and his classmates.
"It will be a way for students to communicate with administration at the school but it will be a safe way," said Jenkins.
Jenkins says he was bullied when he was growing up because he skipped a grade. He believes it's important to stand up for those who are being picked on.
"When you do that, you feel different when you stand up against it," said Jenkins. "I think it's important that we don't be bullied because you may not know what that person may go through and you don't know what your bullying could lead to."
As a student, Jenkins thinks more students will report bullying because of the new app.