Cyberbullying – STOPit

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A relatively new anti-cyberbullying app has been created by Todd Schobel called STOPit. He got the idea when he heard about 15-year old Amanda Todd. Amanda killed herself in 2012 after years of enduring bullying. The app is designed to give kids a way to report cyberbullying.  Of course there is no app that will stop cyberbullying 100%, but this app may be helpful in curtailing the problem for some. It should at least give kids a new way to reach out for help.

There are two versions of the app. The individual version is for parents and their children.  You download the app onto your child’s smartphone and decide who they can contact when reporting cyberbullying. The other version is the school version. Your child’s school partners with STOPit.  The school has a STOPit access code and administrators give the code to the students. The students then can download the app from iTunes and enter the access code. The app is then automatically personalized for your child’s school, including contact information for the authorities at the school and crisis centers.

The app has four features:

STOPit: Allows you to take a screen shot of offensive material and forward it to a trusted adult or authorized official.

HELPit:  Allows kids to text or call national kid\teen support centers when they need someone to talk to.

FRIENDit:  Be an “Upstander” and not a Bystander. This feature allows you to anonymously report when someone else is being cyberbullied.

REPORTit: This feature allows you to connect directly with law enforcement officials and share cyberbullying evidence.

I hope the app really catches on and is effective in helping our young people deal with cyberbullying.  I do have a concern. Technology in and of itself is not a bad thing. It all depends on how it is used. I wonder will there be situations where kids will use the app to bully (cause trouble) for innocent kids. I can see a group of bullies using the app to falsely report\accuse a kid of bullying.

John L Jones

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