St. Louis, MO – May 24, 2012 – The statistics are sobering: studies report that one-third of youth are bullied at least once a month, while others point out that six out of 10 American teens witness bullying at least once a day. These disheartening numbers demonstrate the need for improved bullying reporting, intervention and prevention efforts in schools across the country.
Stepping up their efforts to offer the latest technology solutions and safeguards to address bullying and harassment in all forms, school district administrators in Lead-Deadwood, Platte-Geddes, McIntosh, and Belle Fourche are giving students the ability to anonymously report incidents of bullying and cyber-bullying 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.
"There are many forms of bullying and harassment that take place between students. Depending on the situation some students may not want to come forward face to face,” said Tony Glass, superintendent of Platte-Geddes School District in South Dakota. “Having an anonymous reporting process like that offered through the CyberBully Hotline is another tool we can offer our students and parents to help them resolve their issues."
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 resources. 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
· District officials will also have 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.
Dan Leikvold, superintendent at Lead-Deadwood School District, added, “We know a positive school climate is an important component of successful and effective schools. Our main goal is providing the best environment for learning and if bullying or harassment distracts a child, then he or she may find it hard to achieve success at a high level. We have found the CyberBully Hotline concept to be an extremely valuable way to curb an age old problem by using modern technology.”
To learn more about the CyberBully Hotline, please visit www.cyberbullyhotline.com or call 1-800-420-1479.
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
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