New Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Solution for Schools

HOLMDEL, N.J.Feb. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — STOPit Solutions, the leader in Anonymous Reporting and Incident Management for education across the country, has announced the availability of its new SEL Resource Center in a one-of-a kind joint offering.

STOPit is continuing to see unrivaled adoption of its core reporting and management platform; “In the past school year, over 3,000 STOPit schools have managed 42,000 incident reports and counting. What we continue to see are young people reaching out with mental health issues, and we are happy to be able to provide our STOPit schools and their students assistance in this area with our Social and Emotional Learning Center,” stated Neil Hooper, COO of STOPit.

Early adopter Wally Leipart, Superintendent of the School District of Gilman Wisconsin, spoke highly of the integrated approach; “The range of concerning issues kids face today is astronomical. No person can know all of it. The SEL content library gives both staff and students access to accurate and timely information right through the STOPit app—and makes the STOPit platform truly different from standard tip apps. The SEL content library has increased our confidence that we can properly respond to our STOPit users.”

Hooper added; “At the end of the day it’s about helping schools help their students. With mental health concerns at an all-time high, we felt compelled to add specially-curated content for administrators working through these issues with their students.”

STOPit has partnered with Evolution Labs and in2Vate, two nationally recognized providers of educational content, and integrated their recommended resources directly in the STOPit platform for participating districts. This integrated approach of anonymous reporting, incident management, 2-way Messaging, and now SEL content ensures that STOPit continues to help schools across the country.

About STOPit:

STOPit is the leading technology company providing a comprehensive software platform that mitigates, deters and controls harassment and bullying, including cyberbullying, all forms of harassment and other harmful or inappropriate conduct. The STOPit platform is available to schools, universities, businesses and governments both in the United Statesand around the world. STOPit includes a robust incident management system, empowering administrators and management to get in front of issues to mitigate risk and adhere to the ever evolving compliance landscape. The 24 hour Hotline and Incident Monitoring Service protects our customers around the clock. The STOPit mobile and web app is a simple, fast and powerful tool which empowers individuals to protect themselves and stand up for others.

Press Contact: Neil Hoopernhooper@stopitsolutions.com   

To learn more about STOPit, please visit  www.stopitsolutions.com.

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These Apps Try to Make Reporting Sexual Harassment Less of a Nightmare. Do they work?

ELIMINATING THE FEAR OF REPORTING

When it comes to preventing harassment in the workplace, most of the individuals we spoke to agreed that most companies fail on two fronts–creating an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting any incidents of harassment or discrimination, and having an effective process to hold the perpetrators accountable. Many of the apps are especially focused on tackling the former. “I would say for sure, the largest obstacle we have is that people are afraid to report,” says Neil Hooper, the chief operating officer of STOPit. Many employees fear retaliation from the employer, and they’re afraid of losing their jobs, according to Jared Pope, HR law attorney and founder of WorkShield.

STOPit allows employees to submit anonymous reports that goes to company personnel that the company designates–typically someone from HR, compliance, or legal. The company personnel can then address the complaint via the messenger platform, where they can discuss the issues and ask for more information. Hooper believes that this two-way communication is the core to STOPit’s product. “It’s better to have human interaction and interpretation,” he says.

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Appoquinimink Schools Roll Out New Student Safety App

A new instant messaging app has been launched in a Delaware school district to help curb cyber-bullying, self-harm and violent incidents. And dozens of students and parents are already using the app, reporting more than 100 incidents warranting action.

The STOPit app allows students and parents to share concerns about potentially dangerous situations with a fast, anonymous message from their phone, tablet or desktop.  STOPit also offers two-way communications when necessary.

Appoquinimink is the first school district in Delaware to introduce the new reporting tool, which comes as part of an increased emphasis on campus security. The district cited national data showing that for the first six months of 2018, there was an average of one school shooting per week.

Since the app’s launch with school families in January, more than 400 students and parents have downloaded the app.

“I’ve gotten all positive feedback,” said Tom Poehlmann, Appoquinimink’s Director of Safety, Security and Operations.“We’ve gotten approximately 160 reports. A few are meaningless. But the vast majority have been valid reports. One was a report of a potential suicide. The school’s counselor was immediately notified, and it turns out the family had already taken steps to address the issue.”

Poehlmann rolled out the app to all three school divisions (lower, middle, upper) in his district. “Just this morning two elementary kids were having problems on a bus, a parent used the app to communicate the issue, and the counselor was on it right away,” he said.

Poehlmann said it was critical that reporting troubling and potentially threatening situations be made easier for students – previously multiple steps were involved – and that a successful rollout required the entire school community to be supportive.

 “We spent the entire fall communicating the benefits of the app to get buy-in from families, teachers and counselors. By the end of November, teachers and counselors started asking me when the app was going to be ready. This, I think, was really the key in having a successful launch and pick-up. Everyone bought into the concept before it even came online.”Poehlmann emphasized that the anonymity of the student reporting any situation is always ensured, unless they choose to voluntarily divulge their identity.

Appoquinimink High School Principal Keisha Brinkley says her school district has had anti-bullying measures in place for more than five years. But the process wasn’t anonymous. And she says schools can never have too many ways for kids to communicate information to administrators. “I think this was definitely a good investment. This platform is just so teenager-friendly.”

And Brinkley says the app has already been extremely helpful. “We did get one report of a student with the potential for self-harm. Some of the kids saw pictures of her on her social media, and we were able to identify the student and get the proper help in place.”

“We believe the real-time feedback will be a game-changer,” said Poehlmann. “If a student says, ‘Mike is getting bullied,’ we can ask where and who is doing it.”

Nick Zema, a representative with the STOPit app, says 70% of all smartphone use involves social media, and that’s where the lion’s share of the cyberbullying takes place. “So kids can see something there, take a screenshot, and send it off anonymously,” he said. More than 3,500 schools nationwide have adopted the STOPit app since its introduction 5 years ago.

Messages received over the app will be monitored continuously by a 3rd party service 24-hours/day, which communicates immediately to school and law enforcement officials, when necessary. If viewed as credible and requiring follow-up, reports will be investigated.  

District staff received training late last year and in January every Appoquinimink school set aside time to introduce the feature to students with a short video and discussion. Appoquinimink middle and high schools provide every student with a tablet, and the STOPit app was automatically loaded on their devices at the same time classroom discussions were held.

“We believe this will become a powerful deterrent and an important new tool in school security,” Poehlmann said. The cost of the app is around $1/student. The 24-hour monitoring feature is another 50 cents/student.

Appoquinimink also said it is taking other steps to ensure student safety including training and certification in emergency preparedness and crisis response through the DE Department of Safety and Homeland Security. 

The district also conducts regular schedule of emergency exercises and lockdown/intruder drills, approved safety plans, and training for staff and students in critical incident and lockdown procedures at every school. Additionally, Delaware State Police officers are stationed at each district high school.

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Help Fight Crime By Using Your Phone

The Office of the Montgomery County District Attorney has implemented a new way to fight crime in the County.

“Want to be a super hero?” asked a statement issued by the Office of the District Attorney.  “Be our partner in crime fighting by downloading the STOPit App to your phone.  Then, when you see something, say something by texting an anonymous tip to police and detectives.”

According to the statement, you can “download the free STOPit App from the App Store or Google Play and input access code ‘MONTCOPA’ and you’re all set.”

“All tips go to the 911 call center,” the statement continued.  “Anything that requires it are immediately dispatched like a regular 911 phone call.  All others are sent to a Montgomery County on-call detective who forwards them for follow up to the relevant police department or detective bureau unit commander.”

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STOPit App Keeps Oak Ridge Safe

Oak Ridge High School has become a little safer since a new app called STOPit was implemented by Principal Aaron Palm last January. The app allows students to report threats made against the school as well as inappropriate or dangerous behaviors observed or experienced.

The main goal of STOPit is to give students a voice in keeping their school campuses safe, while allowing their identities to be kept under wraps. STOPit’s Chief Revenue Officer Neil Hooper attributes the success of the app with teens to the simple fact that it gives them confidence to step forward and report incidences anonymously, something they may not have done in the past.

The majority of reports at Oak Ridge are initiated by students who have witnessed classmates being bullied or are concerned about friends that may be planning to harm themselves. A handful of the reports from the app are made from students who have come across threats to the school or to individuals that were posted on social media.

The type of report made determines whether the school will contact a parent or the local authorities. Threats against the school or individuals are considered high priority.

“Once the Sheriff’s department is alerted, they take it seriously and immediately go to the person’s home,” Palm explained.

Currently Oak Ridge averages about three reports a week and the principal said he is more likely to hear of incidences now, especially when it comes to students reporting on bullying of their peers, than he would have prior to roll-out of the app.

“I am glad that students have a way to communicate and help to maintain a safe environment,” Palm added.

Started in 2015 by Todd Schobel, who was moved to action after hearing a tragic story about a young girl who was cyber-bullied to the point of taking her own life. Creating a YouTube video in what afterward was realized as a cry for help, Amanda Todd described her plight through the use of flashcards. Schobel decided to create a technology platform that could be used in a positive way to empower students seeking help like Amanda and STOPit was born. Based in New Jersey, the center is monitored 24 hours a day and sends reports to the schools as they are received from calls, texts or emails.

Initially starting out as a cyber-bullying app, STOPit is now used as a way for students to report anything from their own struggles with thoughts of suicide or self harm, to witnessing the victimization of others. Since 2015 STOPit has helped 3,200 schools around the country, generating 42,000 reports last year, according to the company. Six-hundred California schools are currently using the app, with five local schools participating.

Statistically, according to Hooper, 5 percent of the reports that come in are related to children with suicidal thoughts or committing self harm. Once a concerning report is received, the app contact is notified, giving the schools an early warning to prevent potentially tragic outcomes.

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Spirit of the Buffalo: STOPit Implemented to Help Stop Bullying

McAlester Public Schools are now using the STOP!T app that allows students to anonymously report incidences to the office via text. Students are encouraged to report anything from bullying to threats of violence or self-harm.

Many times a parent will call informing me of situations that are going on at their child’s school. The first question I ask is, “Have you talked to the principal?” Why? I am not at the school to know what is going on and I know that there are always two sides to every situation. The number of times I have been told by parents that their child is being bullied and no one will do anything about it is astronomical. When I asked if they have talked to the principal, the answer is usually no. How can a principal be expected to take care of the bullying when they do not know anything about it? That is where an app like STOP!T will work to help. Students and parents will be able to report any incidences or problems that happen at their school anonymously.

We want to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to dealing with incidents of inappropriate behavior that lead to avoidable issues. When students are comfortable sharing information with us, we then get the information we need to maintain a positive school climate and are able to get students the help they need. We will have the ability to address issues early on before they spiral out of control.

Each school will send out directions to their parents with information about the app and the password for the school. Puterbaugh Middle School is the only site so far to fully implement the STOP!T program with its students. They have been using it for over a week now and have received 36 incident reports. Visiting with the principal, they have verified that many of the incident reports have been middle school students joking around and trying to be funny, but there have been a couple of valid incident reports. The principals were thankful to be able to handle the situations and are seeing some very positive results from the program.

STOP!T will be fully implemented across the district.

Students can now download the free app on iPhones and Androids and each school will have its own ID to allow reporting. Students will be given the information for them to use and the elementary schools will send the information home to the parents. We hope that the implementation of the STOP!T app will provide one additional level of security for our students and staff.

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STOPit App Allows Glynn County Students to Report Safety Concerns Anonymously

The Glynn County School System has enrolled with STOPit, a technology platform that helps schools deter and mitigate bullying, cyber abuse, threats of violence, self-harm and other inappropriate behaviors. With STOPit, students can submit anonymous reports containing text, photos, or video to school administrators, who then have the ability to message the reporters, conduct effective investigations and manage and mitigate risks in the school.

“Our students in Glynn County have continued to express concern about having the ability to anonymously report concerns regarding safety, to include bullying and threats of harm without their being ridicule from their peers. It is our hope that STOPit will meet that need for our students,” said Senetra Haywood, director of student services for Glynn County Schools.

The STOPit platform includes a mobile app and a robust back-end tracking and management system. STOPit’s mobile app provides users with fast, secure and anonymous reporting – all at the touch of a button. Administrators are equipped with STOPit Admin, a comprehensive, streamlined, cloud-based incident management system that also helps schools identify trends, send alerts, and take control of incidents before they spiral out of control.

While no student information is needed to use STOPit, the only way personally identifiable information will be accessible through the mobile app is if a student voluntarily includes it within the content of a report or message.

“We are hopeful that during this implementation, Glynn County students will utilize this tool for its intended purpose, and our school administrators will be able to more effectively address any safety concerns that may arise in their schools,” Haywood said.

Beyond incident reporting, STOPit aims to empower students to stand up for themselves and for one another, as well as keep students safe and cultivate a kind and respectful school climate, online and off.

“We believe our adoption of STOPit is an important step in our continued effort to provide a positive school climate and a safe learning environment for our students,” Haywood said.

The STOPit program launch is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8 and will be piloted for students in grades 5-12. The mobile app can be downloaded through the Apple Store and on Google Play.

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Radford Superintendent Says New App is ‘Lifesaving’

RADFORD, Va. – A local school district says a new app they’re using is lifesaving.

We first told you about the STOPit app in December, when Radford Public Schools were testing it.

Students can anonymously report anything concerning to school officials — from cyberbullying to threats of violence or self-harm. The reports can include text, photos or video.

School Superintendent Rob Graham, says after a month of using STOPit, the program is a success and it saved a life.

They had reports of a possible attempted suicide and were able to stop it.

They are seeing other positives as well.

“We are seeing an increase in attendance as the culture and environment of school the students are able to report anonymously that they may be bullied. We’re also having some success in helping students that are having some emotional issues as well. It is well worth the money spent,” said Graham.

Graham says they had some false reports the first couple of days, but for the most part it’s worked really well. He says they will continue using it.

STOPit is used in schools and workplaces around the world.

Danville just started using the app this month, too.

STOPit says 54 schools in Virginia use the app and schools average between 30 to 40 reports a year.

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App Will Allow Students to Report Safety Concerns

Social media and smartphones come in handy, but both have also contributed to changes in school culture that make life increasingly more difficult for students.

Bullying, threats of violence and other inappropriate behaviors are carried out using technologies that didn’t exist a decade ago, creating new challenges for school administrators to handle.

Glynn County Schools is working toward solutions. The school system will launch a new program on Feb. 8 called “STOPit,” an app that empowers students to help themselves and others by anonymously reporting problematic behaviors like bullying, cyberbullying, threats, hazing, self-harm and more.

“Our students in Glynn County have continued to express concern about having the ability to anonymously report concerns regarding safety, to include bullying and threats of harm without there being ridicule from their peers,” said Senetra Haywood, director of student services for Glynn County Schools, in a press release. “It is our hope that STOPit will meet that need for our students.”

Students can use the app, which is free to download, to submit anonymous reports that contain text messages, photos or videos. Their messages will be sent to school administrators, who will then have the ability to message the student who reports, conduct investigations and manage and mitigate risks in schools.

The STOPit platform includes a mobile app and back-end tracking and management system. Administrators will be equipped with STOPit Admin, a comprehensive, streamlined, cloud-based incident management system that also helps schools identify trends and send alerts.

“We are hopeful that during this implementation, Glynn County students will utilize this tool for its intended purpose, and our school administrators will be able to more effectively address any safety concerns that may arise in their schools,” Haywood said.

Glynn County Schools has seen an increase recently in the number of schoolwide threats made by students. Threats have been written on school walls, posted on social media or sent out through schoolwide messages.

The rise in threats follows a national trend that has surged since the school shooting last year in Parkland, Fla.

The STOPit app is available to schools, universities, workplaces and governments. The program provides administrators with a tool to maintain better control of school climate.

The app will be piloted in Glynn County for students in grades 5-12. The app can be downloaded through the Apple Store and on Google Play.

“We believe our adoption of STOPit is an important step in our continued effort to provide a positive school climate and a safe learning environment for our students,” Haywood said.

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First Coast Connect: Anti-Bullying App

Anti-Bullying App; Climate Change And Health; Moveable Feast; Thin Mint Sprint

Next week the Glynn County, Georgia, School System plans to launch STOPit, a technology platform aimed at helping schools stay on top of bullying and cyber abuse, as well of threats of violence, self-harm, and other inappropriate behaviors.

Students can submit anonymous reports containing text, photos, or video to school administrators through the platform. Teachers then have the ability to message the reporters and conduct investigations.

The STOPit program launch is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8, and it will be piloted for students in grades 5-12. The mobile app can be downloaded through the Apple Store and on Google Play.

Dr. David Chesire associate professor, University of Florida Health Jacksonville; Neil Hooper, Chief Operating Officer, STOPit; and, Bryna Rodenhizer, a contributor to the Jacksonville Moms Blog, discussed the app and the effects of bullying.

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