Hot Tips & Topics

We are dedicated to providing you with a comprehensive collection of relevant and up-to-date K-12 education news and editorials. For teachers, by teachers.

Web Tool Allows Students to Report Bullying

Lewis Griswold, Fresno Bee

Bullying Web Tool

New web tool allows students to send bullying incident report anonymously to school administrators

There's a new weapon in the battle against school bullying for students in Firebaugh and Tulare -- they can press the send/submit buttons on their smartphones or computers to deliver anonymous reports to school administrators.

In Firebaugh, for instance, an elementary student reported an incident on a school bus involving a high schooler taunting someone, Firebaugh High Principal Terry Anderson said.

The report went to a website to which the district links on its homepage.

The site automatically sent the bullying report to the school and an alert to administrators who took appropriate action.

Related Articles
Young girl writing notes while looking at a laptop with open books around her.
With the move to eLearning, educators must find creative ways to keep student...
Two young boys reading a book together in their elementary classroom.
Differentiated literacy instruction is vital in elementary classrooms to reach...
Young boy working at a table listening to a video lesson with his teacher and classmates.
Remote learning can make assessment of student learning more difficult but not...
Student working on math problems watching her teacher on a laptop.
The sudden shift to online learning presented many teachers with end-of-year...
Young boy sitting at a table drawing on paper with a marker.
Remote learning causes challenges for all students but especially special ed....

"Anyone can make a report, including parents," Anderson said.

Anonymous reporting makes it safe for students to take action without fear of retaliation, said former middle school teacher Joe Bruzzese of Santa Barbara, creator and chief executive officer of Sprigeo.com, the website used by three schools in Firebaugh and the high schools in Tulare.

"It gives kids an opportunity to say 'I witnessed something,' " Bruzzese said.

Statistically, bullying is a significant problem for middle and high school students.

In 2009, about 28% of students ages 12 through 18 reported being bullied at school, according to the federal National Center for Education Statistics.

That was down from 32% in 2007.

Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified and Tulare Joint Union High School districts are the first in the central San Joaquin Valley to sign with the website, the company said.

The website launched in 2010 and is being used by about 500 schools in 21 states, Bruzzese said. The annual cost is $275 per school, he said.

Anonymity is guaranteed because the sender is not required to include a name and the software forwards encrypted messages, Bruzzese said. The company doesn't get a copy of the message, he said.

On average, schools get four to five reports a week, he said. They typically are two sentences long and might say, "John pushed me down in the hall and called me a loser," Bruzzese said.

False reports are rare, he said.

Sprigeo is a combination of "sprig" for a growing tree branch and "geo" for earth, Bruzzese said.

Tulare Joint Union administrator Antonio Rodriguez said the district adopted the system last year, but it's too soon to tell if it's lowering the number of bullying incidents, he said.

"It's been a pretty good tool," Rodriguez said. Administrators are required to investigate each report, and they view the system as a way to nip problems in the bud, he said.

Last year, after an older student harassed a freshman, a report came in, an administrator confirmed the incident and intervened, and the harassment stopped, Rodriguez said.

In another case, a female student tried to provoke a fight. Someone reported it via the website and an administrator brokered a truce, he said.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6104, lgriswold@fresnobee.com or @fb_LewGriswold on Twitter. ___

 

(c)2012 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)

Visit The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.) at www.fresnobee.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Web Tool Allows Students to Report Bullying

           

Today's Poll

Which types of articles would you like to see from us in 2020?
Classroom Management
14%
Classroom Activities/Games
30%
Teaching Strategies
27%
Technology in the Classroom
23%
Professional Development
7%
Total votes: 244