Thursday, August 15, 2013

Protecting Children from Bullying with CyberBully Hotline

            Bullying is considered a silent epidemic because, all too often, children who are bullied or who witness bullying don’t report it. They fear retribution from the bully, and they also fear the stigma of being labeled a tattle-tale. The School Reach Program offers a solution to the challenge children face in reporting instances of bullying
            Many parents and schools have embraced the School Reach Parents App as a way to maintain communication between the home and the school. The App is revolutionary in helping schools manage contact information. Parents love the app because they can update their contact information, listen to previous School Reach messages, and change their notification preferences. School administrators love the app because they can review parent updates before any changes are made to the system. This ensures that school notification data is synchronized with school information system data. The handiest aspect of all is the fact that the App allows on-the-go parents to make changes easily.
            School Reach has also addressed the dilemma faced by children and parents regarding reporting of instances of bullying when they created their CyberBully Hotline. The hotline allows children and parents to report bullying and remain anonymous. Now School Reach is releasing an update called CyberBully Hotline v2.0. The new version is an award-winning bully reporting tool used in many K-12 schools. Hopefully, it will eventually be used in all schools. It increases functionality, improves graphic user interface, and introduces keyword flagging technology to their original CyberBully Hotline technology.
With the new version, users will have a more efficient web-based system to receive and manage bully reports and still maintain the anonymity of the incident reporter. Administrators and those responsible for monitoring the hotline will be able to prioritize incident reports with the keyword flagging in the new version. As an example, if a school principal would receive two hotline messages saying something such as, “I don’t like the way someone looked at me in class today” and, “a student has a gun in his locker”, the CyberBully Hotline platform will prioritize and urgently flag the message that includes the keyword “gun.”
There are better collaboration capabilities in the new CyberBully Hotline version 2, as well. School administrators who have access to the CyberBully Hotline will be able to pass private notes back and forth within the system, collaborating on situations and actions taken to resolve issues. The new version is free to current CyberBully Hotline customers.
Ideally, all schools will make it a priority to institute the CyberBully Hotline to better address bullying in their schools.
Picture credit: Shaun Crum

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