Anonymous School Tip Lines – Fighting Fire with Fire

By: Paul Langhorst        March 26, 2012

The phenomenon of cyber bulling, or bullying through technology, has a new enemy – anonymous school tip lines, such as the SchoolReach CyberBully Hotline.

Bullying aided through the use of technology, such as harassing texts and hurtful social media postings, is one of the most rapidly growing forms of bullying and the least reported by students. The anonymity and distance created by the technology increases the ease with which students will verbally, emotionally and visually harass others. What one would never say face to face, is now all but common place on line.

Compounding the issue, victims of cyber bullying may be less likely to report such incidents. A main fear of victims is reverse punitive damage, where a victim may fear reporting that they are being cyber bullied because their parents may try to resolve the problem by shutting down the victim’s Facebook page or by restricting Internet use (Safe Schools Advocacy Council – Bully Prevention Conference 2012).

Now, students who are victims and bystanders to such cyber bullying activities now have a new way to seek help. Anonymous school tip lines are now becoming readily available and quite popular.  There are currently at least eight school tip line programs on the market and they can look very similar from the outset. However, there are many differences.  An anonymous school tip line should include the following key attributes:

  • Offer text and voice reporting of incidents
  • Deliver information directly to school officials, with notification completed via mobile and email delivery, as well as offer a central on line repository for managing and responding to student reports.
  • Provide complete anonymity of the reporting student
  • Provide for two-way text communication between reporter and school official
  • Offer 24 x 7 x 365 access to students
  • Offer access complete security and be FERPA compliant
  • Provide resource materials and other information to help make the launch and ongoing use of the program a success

If your school or district is looking to create a school climate in which bullying, harassment and intimidation are not supported, the inclusion of an anonymous tip line is now a must-have. The CyberBully Hotline from SchoolReach, scores and A+ on all the above features and functions.

To request a demo of they CyberBully Hotline, click here.

Does CyberBullying Stop over Spring Break?

By: Paul Langhorst

Spring Break vacation – what a wonderful time of year for students of all ages. While the college kids may enjoy a wild time on beaches, high school and younger students may also be getting away on family trips. But, does that mean if they are involved in cyberbullying that it stops? No!

Unlike physical forms of bullying, cyberbullying knows no space or time limitations. If a kid has their mobile phone with them, they can play the role of bully, bullied or bystander. 24/7 access to social media sites means bullies can launch attacks from anywhere – including from the balcony of their beach condo. Online bystanders can watch or chime in to ignorant posts and their targets end up helplessly watching it happen.  And, when the victims return from Spring Break vacation, they get to enjoy a whole new painful world of ridicule and humiliation from what may have happened while school is out.

The online world in which kids live today is rife with turmoil and trouble. According to research studies their yet-to-fully-develop brains can not cope with the social consequences of their actions. They may be having a good day on the beach, but their online life could be a sea of trouble. Talk to your kids about what they are doing online, monitor their activities, set rules and guidelines for access, and have a open door policy. Many kids fear getting their phone and Internet privileges taken away from exposing what they are experiencing on line. Make sure they know that what is happening is not their fault and that you are there to help.

Enjoy Spring Break!

Do you have suggestions to share on how to talk to kids about their online life?