ESD rolls out app to report student issues

Alex Pepper, Hi-Gusher Staff

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With safety being a top priority, students can now tell principals at school about student problems through an app that is completely anonymous.

Bullying is a major issue, and students aren’t telling anyone about it because they fear what might happen if someone found out they told.  With student safety in mind, the El Dorado School District has decided to release a new feature to their district app. The app now lets all students send anonymous messages to principals to report bullying, cyberbullying, family difficulties, self-harm, cutting, drug and alcohol abuse, student depression, sexual harassment, gang issues or strange behaviors in students that will affect their learning. The app will be monitored on school days from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

According to the National Education Association, PACER Center, and StopBullying.gov, one in seven students in grades K – 12  have either been bullied or have been the one that has bullied. Reports state that 35 percent of students alone have been bullied online and 14 percent of high school students have considered committing suicide because of bullying.

“Based on other schools use of the app, the new feature will be a good for helping reduce bullying,” EHS Assistant Principal Geni Smith said. She said other schools that have tried out apps like these have seen good results.

“We have seen a significant drop in both bad behavior and safety concerns, creating a more positive school climate,” Mike Pompano, director of security at Newtown Public School in Connecticut explained.

The system EHS is using was found by Superintendent Jim Tucker to be a reliable source.

All incidents reported on the app will be promptly investigated and consequences will be put in place for anyone making false reports. The principals will be able to tell if the problem is real or not by responding to the submitter of the reporting and, “False reporting will be taken seriously to the full extent of the law,” the app states.

To download the app, go to the Play Store and search El Dorado School District. After you download the app, go to the menu button and click the report an incident button.