Dealing with the bullies

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hoping to combat the "snitch" label that often leads to violent repercussions and silent sufferings, six Utah schools have introduced a web site that allows students to anonymously report bullies.

To this we say, "hip-hip-hooray!"

A Brigham Young University student has created a web site that lets students anonymously report bullies, and also lets them post information about thefts, drugs, and any other forms of harassment.

The hope is that students who might otherwise be too scared, shy, or intimidated to speak up, will be willing to post such information on the site.

"There really is this culture and code of silence that's particularly prevalent in middle schools and high schools," said Justin Bergener, the BYU student who created the new site.

Many students may not want to be seen in the office talking to an authority figure such as a principal, superintendent, coach, or guidance counselor. The new site allows students to have an outlet to report things they might otherwise not reported.

Today, more than 50 other schools in other states are also using the web site.

Here's how it works:

School administrators are made aware of any tips either by e-mail or text message. For some schools, students have to create a log-on and password to send a tip, but they still remain anonymous. The participating schools allow anyone to send a tip with no need to give personal information.

Bullying is as nasty an experience as there might be for our elementary, middle school, and high school students. At some point in time, it is estimated that at least 75 percent of students have experienced some form of bullying from other students, whether it be on the playground, the field or court, in the locker room, the class room, the hallway, the bus, the cafeteria, or the route to and from school.

We congratulate Bergener for creating his web site.

And we encourage more schools in more states to trumpet its usefulness and effectiveness in combating this horrible and needless injustice to our kids.