HOUSTON – Sept. 28, 2018 – Starting Oct. 1, Spring ISD students and staff will have a new anonymous online tool to report bullying at www.springisd.org/stopbullying.
“This new tool adds another way for people to let us know about a potential bullying situation with the option of staying anonymous,” said Chief Communications Officer Tiffany Dunne-Oldfield. “We have always encouraged our students, staff and parents to report any bullying concerns, and this just gives us another way to address those concerns.”
The launch of the tool coincides with the start of National Bullying Prevention Month, which runs through October to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of bullying on people of all ages and to encourage communities to work together to prevent it.
Spring ISD’s new online tool can be accessed via www.springisd.org/stopbullying or directly from a button designed like a stop sign located on campus websites and the district homepage. A special form guides users through a series of questions to gather important information about the alleged bullying incident, including whether it was in-person or cyberbullying. Those who report using the tool may decide to stay anonymous or use their names. In either case, district officials will investigate the claims with the goal of stopping any bullying.
The addition of the anonymous online reporting tool is just one more way that Spring ISD is complying with Senate Bill 179, formally known as David’s Law, which requires school districts to intervene when any cyberbullying behavior is suspected. To help raise awareness about the new reporting tool, the district is working with campus adult and student leaders to raise awareness about bullying, through a campaign urging people to speak up when they suspect bullying.
“Stop Bullying: When you say nothing, you say it’s OK” is a slogan intended to resonate with both adults and students, Dunne-Oldfield said.
“We want everyone to know that bullying is not OK, and that we’re serious about creating a culture in Spring ISD where everyone feels safe and respected,” she said. “This is a message we’re communicating all the time, not just during National Bullying Prevention Month.”
A key component of the campaign is to also help students distinguish behaviors that indicate bullying versus those that indicate a conflict. “We’re encouraging conversations so that everyone has a framework to help understand the differences,” said Denise Zimmermann, the district’s director of Mental Health and Related Services. “If we’re dealing with a conflict, we’ll resolve it. If we’re dealing with bullying, we’re going to put an end to it. There is no room in our schools for hateful, negative interactions.”
During the month of October, all of the campuses will be hosting an art contest in which students are being asked to create a poster that illustrates a World Without Bullying. The winning poster from both the elementary and secondary levels will be reproduced and displayed districtwide.