Effective October 1st, the Maryland Department of Education will allow and track two-way electronic anonymous tips.
Press Release (ePRNews.com) - BETHESDA, Md. - Sep 08, 2017 - All schools are concerned with bullying in their schools. But Maryland students will have a new tool this school year. This new law, effective October 1st, is based on the Text 2 Stop it!™ program implemented in Queen Anne’s County Maryland Public Schools (QACPS). This texting program makes reporting of bullying easier for students and has resulted in a 71% reduction in bullying reports in the school district over a four year period.
Montgomery County High School student Liam Kim commented: “The current system of requiring students to fill out a form and turn it into the office doesn’t work…it’s antiquated”. He also remarked, “Every student carries an IPhone in their pockets and it is time for the school system to move to the 21st Century.”
The Maryland PTA endorses the use of this technology. Former President of the Maryland PTA Elizabeth Ysla Leight, stated: “Maryland PTA especially favors the broadening of reporting such acts to involve technology compared to hard-copy paper work. Oftentimes students as well as parents find it difficult to report such acts using paper because they don’t know where to find reporting forms or they don’t want to be seen obtaining such information for fear of retaliation.”
Here is how it works: Posters are placed in every school promoting the program. Also, business cards containing the keyword and text number are provided for every student and parent. When a student witnesses bullying or other harmful activity and they wish to report it, they simply text the keyword to the number and anonymously report the information to a Text 2 Stop It! operator. They are available 24-7 and 365 days per year. The student, or parent reporting the incident, is then engaged in an anonymous two-way text conversation whereby Text 2 Stop it!™ obtains the details including dates, places, witnesses, perpetrators and other pertinent details. The transcript of the conversation is immediately emailed to the school counselor and/ or other designated administrators for follow-up.
Utilizing Text 2 Stop it!™ students are not only reporting bullying but also, drug use, drug dealers, suicides and other concerns. To date, there has been intervention in seven suicides, including a suicide pact involving several students. Additionally, there has been drug dealers unmasked in half of the middle and high schools in the school district.
DISCLAIMER : If you have any concerns regarding this press release, please contact the Author / Media Contact / Business of this press release. ePRNews is not resposible for the accuracy of the news posted and do not endorse, support any product/services/business mentioned and hereby disclaims any content contained in this press release.