NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn school is taking its battle against bullying into the digital age.
As CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock reported Friday, an app called Bridg-iT is intended to bully-proof schools by allowing students to report what they hear anonymously.
Many students at I.S. 228 David A. Boody in Gravesend, Brooklyn have said they are afraid to come to an authority figure or adult about bullying.
“If they see you going to, like, the dean’s office or (principal) Mr. D’Angelo’s office, you’d be called a snitch and be bullied too,” said eighth grader Paola Price, 13.
But now, the Bridg-iT might change that with the anonymous reporting option.
“This is a life-saving and a life-changing type of situation,” said school principal Dominick D’Angelo.
With the app, each student, parent, teacher, and administrator has a unique logon. As soon as someone reports an incident — which they can do trough the computer or even their smart phone — administrators receive an alert via email.
“If we know about something early, we can resolve it and correct it,” D’Angelo.
D’Angelo said false reports are not a major concern.
“I don’t think that would be a problem,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a deterrent that people have to watch what they do.”
And while the ability to remain anonymous is a huge deal for students at the school, there is another feature they think will truly help combat bullies.
“If you see someone being bullied online, you can take a screenshot and then upload it,” said Amira Dixon, 11.
Eighth grader Jomard Arthis is convinced it will work.
“Getting rid of bullies so nobody feels isolated,” Jomard said.
He even expects students will start exchanging compliments instead of slurs.
“A lot of happiness going around now that we have the app,” Jomard said.
More than 1,000 students at I.S. 228 will log on Monday as part of a pilot program. Students will also participate in focus groups where they can offer feedback on ways to improve the app.
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