New app lets Lakewood students report bullying anonymously

Updated: Mar. 7, 2018 at 5:42 PM EST
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LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - Lakewood Schools are using a new app to alert them about possible bullying in schools.

It's called STOPit.

It allows students to communicate anonymously with teachers and staff to tell them about concerns and problems, both in the classroom and between classmates.

Students can download the STOPit app, and use Lakewood High School's individualized code to access the system.

From there they can communicate with administrators, guidance counselors, and teachers to alert them about problems in the school.

"You know, they're on the front lines in terms of giving us information, so engaging with them where they are and making sure we have that two-way communication in a setting they're comfortable with is really important,"Lakewood High School Principal Keith Ahearn said.

He said they're aware they may get jokes or false reports, but they're prepared to filter through that to find the real issues.

"I don't see any way that that is bad. You may have to filter out some false reports, you may have to filter out some joking responses, but for any one response you get that helps a student and keeps a school safe, it's worth that sorting through," he said.

So far, the high school has received about 15 tips since the app was rolled out last week.

The middle schoolers have submitted another 15 tips, according to Lakewood school officials.

They say some of that has been from students curious about the new system, testing it out. However, they believe this will lead them to better communication with students, and a greater ability to share vital information about what's happening in the school system.

"With bullying, we talk a lot about being upstanders and taking a stand against it," Ahearn said. "That's the first step, is confronting somebody that may be engaging in bullying, and letting them know, we're aware that you may be engaging in something you shouldn't."

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