ST. LOUIS, MO – Nov. 5, 2012 – It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. A recent survey of 2,500 Texas middle and high school students indicated that over 30% felt that bullying and cyberbullying was a problem at their schools. Once considered an unpleasant but inescapable part of adolescence, bullying and cyberbullying have been thrust into the national conversation in recent years. However, a growing number of schools and districts in Texas are stepping up their efforts to offer the latest technology solutions and safeguards to address bullying and harassment in all forms.
School district administrators in Abernathy Independent School District (ISD), Reagan County ISD, Hardin ISD, and Cisco ISD, Agua Dulce ISD along with St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic School and The Honor Roll School are giving students the ability to anonymously report bullying and cyberbullying incidents using the newly launched CyberBully Hotline by SchoolReach. The solution provides a two-way communications tool that allows students to instantly and directly send text messages -- or leave a voicemail -- anonymously with school officials. In response, those officials can immediately reply, also anonymously, and provide students the support they need to effectively address the offensive bullying act, whether they are witnessing it, or on the receiving end of it.
“Because we are a current customer of SchoolReach we have come to appreciate their solution’s ease of use and the company’s outstanding customer service,” said Tammie Marberry, director of curriculum and instruction for Hardin ISD. “When it became necessary for us to meet state requirements for an online bully reporting program, we chose the CyberBully Hotline because we trusted them and knew the program would be an outstanding fit – personalized, cost-effective and comprehensive.”
With the theme “Do Something About It,” the CyberBully Hotline program gives the latest technology-driven solution to school and district administrators eager to augment their current anti-bullying efforts. The CyberBully Hotline is a turn-key program, supplying schools and districts with everything they need to introduce and manage the program, including:
· A special, unique telephone number per-building that accepts both text messages and voice calls anonymously, and access to the CyberBully Hotline online management center for viewing and replying to messages
· Visually compelling and influential anti-bullying posters that not only create awareness of the school’s own unique telephone number, but the commanding materials also reinforce the “Bullying is Wrong” message that is vitally important to keep top-of-mind with all students
· A wallet card for each student containing the CyberBully hotline number
· An introduction letter for parents and links to parent-pages on the CyberBully Hotline website, and
· Access to the CyberBully Hotline Resource Center, which offers a wealth of information on report response best practices and access to ongoing professional development materials.
Marberry concluded, “Hardin is a small district and we wanted to be sure that whatever solution we selected it would offer a personal approach for teachers and students alike. For our students, the CyberBully Hotline gives them the immediate feedback and dialogue needed to quickly stop a situation from escalating. For teachers, they now have excellent resources to support their efforts. We feel better about having this rich solution as part of our communications aids.”
SchoolReach is the K-12 division of St. Louis-based GroupCast, LLC, a broadcast voice, e-mail and SMS notification provider. More information about SchoolReach can be found at www.schoolreach.com and www.cyberbullyhotline.com
Charlotte Andrist @ 770-578-8007 or Charlotte@EicherCommunications.com