West TN county using smartphone app to combat bullying

Published: Feb. 19, 2016 at 2:10 AM CST|Updated: May. 18, 2017 at 12:28 AM CDT
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Bolivar Middle School (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
Bolivar Middle School (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

HARDEMAN COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Hardeman County schools held a kickoff rally on Thursday to celebrate a new way to fight bullying.

The school partnered with STOPit to utilize the latest technology to fight bullying and protect students, and it's available in the palm of their hands.

STOPit is the only smartphone app that allows students to anonymously report, deter and provide follow up information about cyber-abuse and harassment.

The company boasts of being successful in reducing bullying in schools by as much as 50 percent in the first year, according to statistics it provided.

It allows school administrators to conduct anonymous two-way conversations with students and gain more information about problems and incidents regarding bullying and harassment.

School board members said the program begins as quick as a download.

"As soon as we can get them all to download it on all their devices," School Board Member Bobby Doyle said. "We are thinking sometime next week [all will be downloaded and fully operating]."

Doyle said he believes the program will be an asset to the school.

"They can report anything they see that they believe is bullying or they believe is suspicious and it's anonymous," Doyle said. "It's going to be a good thing."

The company said it has seen a 148 percent growth in subscribers since September 2015, reflecting the need for such a system.

Hardeman County joins nine other counties in Tennessee that are using STOPit; including Dickson, Moore, South Carroll, Stewart, Cleveland City, Perry, Hancock, Johnson and Polk.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.