School District Five implements anonymous reporting app to promote safety in schools
IRMO- Lexington-Richland School District Five has implemented a new communications tool that allows students and staff to quickly and anonymously report urgent information to school officials.
The STOPit app provides students and staff in the district with the means to submit anonymous reports to school and district officials using Smartphones or district-issued student Chromebooks. Students can also upload or attach photos, texts, or video from their Smartphone or device. All reports remain anonymous, although senders and administrators can communicate back and forth through the app. Administrators manage reports in a backend management system called STOPit Admin, which allows issues to be handled instantly.
“With STOPit, we are doing more than just helping schools address incidents and mitigating risk,” said Student Services Officer Kelly Brown. “It is allowing us to go beyond reacting, and instead deter incidents in some cases. As students are engaging more and more with technology, we are taking proactive steps and empowering our students. In many cases, students are the first to report incidents. This gives us another tool in keeping our schools safe.”
While several schools in the district already had individual anonymous reporting systems, STOPit creates one districtwide system at no additional cost to the district, Brown added.
Students and staff received information about the app before the launch this week, along with a school-specific code to access the app. STOPit is being launched in all district high schools, middle schools, and intermediate schools before being implemented in elementary schools. It is not being made available to the public, but members of the public with information about incidents are asked to contact a school administrator or law enforcement.
“School District Five has made the safety and well-being of our students and staff a top priority, so we are constantly looking for ways to refine our systems and be proactive,” said Dr. Michael Harris, Chief Planning and Administrative Officer. “This resource is added to a host of other safety measures we already have in our schools. We hope it reinforces our commitment to safety, knowing that students and staff have a way of reporting incidents quickly and can play a critical role in keeping schools safe.”
STOPit also includes resources, including information on crisis intervention and other services. To learn more about STOPit, please visit www.stopitsolutions.com. For information on other safety measures taken at district sporting events and throughout the school year, visit www.lexrich5.org/safety.