Bullying is an issue that’s getting so much attention these days–and yet, it’s still a big problem. While we’re glad to see schools, parents, and kids tackling bullying head on, it can still be pretty scary for kids to report incidents, whether they’re the victim or a bystander. But the new Sprigeo online reporting system could help make reporting bullying easier on everyone.
It’s estimated that 160,000 kids skip school every day because of bullying (whoa), and this sad statistic led Sprigeo’s founders to create an online system that not only offers anonymous, detailed reporting, but accountability and analytics too. Kids or teachers, coaches, or other staff can report bullying via the free app or the Sprigeo website. From there Sprigeo alerts designated administrators that a report has been submitted.
On the back end, administrators can classify the type of incident (cyberbullying, verbal or physical harassment, sexting); identify potential motivating factors, like if it was related to sexual orientation, religion, or race; and then assign a status to the incident. Any actions that are taken — phone calls, meetings, discipline — are logged along with notes by the administrator, which helps ensure accountability.
I like knowing that kids can be more confident that their reports will be actually heard and addressed, which makes it more likely that they’ll use the system in the first place.
The level of detail is impressive: Cyberbullying is broken down by platform, including Instagram, YouTube, and texts. Kids can also report concerns such as eating disorders, depression, drugs and alcohol, or weapons like guns and knives. Likewise, administrators can create reports based on so many factors, and then Sprigeo can help them identify times of day and areas around school where incidents are occurring. They can also more easily recognize recurring aggressors, targets, or motivating factors.
A 12-month subscription to Sprigeo is $695 for a single school plus an installation fee, but there are discounts for multiple schools or entire districts. Currently, more than 500 schools across the country use Sprigeo, including all of Howard County, Maryland.
It seems like a great investment, and it’s actually fairly affordable especially when you consider how much administrative tracking and paperwork this can save educators.
As the parent of a middle schooler myself, I can tell you that even if your kids aren’t experiencing bullying themselves, they’ve probably witnessed it — along with a host of other concerns that they aren’t sure how to address. In fact, even kids who aren’t my own have brought problems to me because they don’t know who else to tell. Sprigeo could be a smart way to open up those lines of communication and help kids help themselves and others, and I really hope it catches on.
Learn more about how to report bullying with Sprigeo via their website and contact them to see about getting Sprigeo into your school or district. The Sprigeo app is available on the App Store and Google Play, but it only works in conjunction with the back end system.