Schools fighting assaults with smart phone apps


The exact same innovation that keeps kids glued to their smart phones is being used by some schools as protection against physical and sexual attacks.

Utilizing apps, victims and bystanders can notify school authorities, cops or moms and dads to trouble. While the systems can be used by kids pranking each other, app developers and school officials state most reports wind up being credible.

Reporting happens as occasions unfold and administrators can respond immediately.

The genuine challenge is money. Not all schools can pay for the apps, a few of which base their cost on the variety of users or size of a trainee population. However, school insurance providers  are increasingly picking up the tab, seeing the apps as a tool to reduce risk.

Experts remind us that these apps need to never ever be thought about the sole way for a school to resolve the concern of student physical or sexual assault.

Here are a few of the apps:

ANONYMOUS ALERTS: The name practically says it. Students can conquer the public opinions connected with “ratting out” peers by sending in confidential tips. This app has a dropdown menu, asking users what type of school they participate in and where the occurrence took place, no matter if it be a bus, corridor or health club.

Users can either send school administrators a single text or have back-and-forth discussions. They can attach images, social media screenshots or video. The president of the business, Gregory Bender, produced his very first emergency situation messaging system after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The computer system software application for his most current app– launched in 2013 to deal with all kinds of bullying– collects informs from students over time so schools can keep an eye on trends.

Number of users: Around 5 million in K-12 schools, in accordance with the company. It is readily available just to schools with a license.

What it costs: 50 cents to$2 per user.

Available for download: Apple’s App Store or Google Play and Chromebook Store.

STOPit: New Jersey-based developer Todd Schobel introduced this app in 2013.

His inspiration was Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old suicide victim who published a video on YouTube in which she held up flashcards explaining how her partially nude image ended up on the internet, activating an unrelenting barrage of bullying.

This app– advocated by Amanda’s mother– enables victims and onlookers to report anonymously to administrators, teachers and virtually anybody the school considers proper.

There are no parental controls. Users can send out either a single text or have a two-way chat, and can connect pictures, screenshots and video. The individual who receives the alert can forward the information to police or suicide response groups, depending on the danger.

The app keeps all proof and notes concerning incidents in a safe cloud-based server so school administrators can collect and evaluate it over time.

Number of users: More than 2.5 million in K-12, according to the company.

What it costs: Schools pay$ 1 to$5 per head for the app, depending on the size of the student body. Some school insurance providers likewise have actually started paying for the software for their customers’ usage due to the fact that they see it as a method to alleviate risk. Available for download: Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

KNOWBullying: This mobile app is for moms and dads, targeted at helping initiate hard conversations about bullying and harassment with kids. It also helps parents watch out for different signs– not only to assist identify if their kids might have been bullied, however also if they might be doing the bullying.

It initially was created for the Substance abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Number of users: Around 30,000

What it costs: Free.

Available for download: Apple’s App Shop or Google Play.

CIRCLE of 6: Produced by sexual assault survivors, this one was born out of the White House’s “Apps Against Abuse” challenge in 2011. Though the business Tech 4 Good initially developed the app for colleges, it now has actually been personalized for use by younger students.

After downloading the app, students select 6 trusted friends to join a “circle.” If they are in a precarious situation, users click an icon that sends a pre-written text message telling their friends they might need assistance and what kind.

The app also consists of useful links about sexual abuse and nationwide hot lines.

Prince William County Public Schools, the second-largest school district in Virginia with some 90,000 students, signed up its K-12 schools in 2016. The district states it does not know how many have downloaded the app, but developers state it’s the very first elementary school in the U.S. to sign on.

Circle of 6 was customized and designed to offer an additional layer of security for more youthful kids, with adult authorization required for those under 13 to download the app.

Number of users: 350,000(mostly colleges)

Exactly what it costs:$1 to$3 per user.

Available for download: Apple’s App Store or Google Play.


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