by MEGAN ROMANCZUK Staff Writer
Bullying is a world-wide problem all around the world that students face everyday. However, a new way to report bullying is a free text messaging service called Blackboard, which is offering their service to students from K-12.
An extension of Blackboard is the TipTxt service used for emergency notifications, routine texts, email, and robocall alerts to parents.
Students will be able to text a number posted in school hallways or in handbooks, which then would be reported to the system. The student who texted the problem will get an automated reply telling them that someone is looking into it and then an alert will be sent to a designated school official who monitors the text feeds.
This program would be useful for those who are afraid to report bullying because they do not want to seem weak or seen as a snitch. Even though school systems pay for many programs to teach students about not being a bystander and to get the word out, sometimes students need to be pushed in the right direction.
“I think this is a really good idea because those who do get bullied have another way to tell someone all the things their going through at home or at school,” said junior Amanda Gonchar.
There are three different types of bullying. One is face-to-face bullying where the bully has no problem attacking you with words or violence. The second and third type both go hand-in-hand being that both have to do with cyber bullying, which is through text messaging or social media sites.
Cyber bullying has become a serious problem among teenagers, and parents may not even know it is occurring. Almost nine out of 10 teens have a cell phone and about one in five will be victims of a text bully. The statistics are even higher for girls.
According to statistics, 160,000 students miss one day of school each year because of bullying. Many are afraid of the violence and fear talking about it. Bullying escalates to bigger problems such as suicide, depression, anxiety or violence.
However, schools that do participate in Blackboard will receive access to the service, a TipTxt mailbox, and an assigned support staffer. The only cost is $125 per year for a dedicated phone line to support the system.
“I hope Monroe gets involved with Blackboard and promotes it well enough that we could make a difference in our schools and town,” said by junior Jesse Shea.
Preventing bullying is a tedious task that seems to never go away and always comes back with a haunting story of a teenager ending his or her life for the pain to go away. With this service, not only will the problem get reported instantly, it will remind the child in need that the bullying will be stopped.