BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A smartphone app gives Howard County students and parents a way to report bullies.
Christie Ileto has more.
Need to report bullying? There’s an app for that.
It’s part of the campaign Stand Up HoCo to stop bullying both online and in person, while protecting the individual reporting it.
“We’re giving our children, students and adults a way to report bullying wherever it happens,” said Ken Ulman, Howard County Executive.
Just go online or on the app. Then, with the click of a button, fill out a form, and submit what you saw.
“It has great possibility to protect children,” said Christine McComas.
It’s the kind of app McComas says could have saved her daughter Grace’s life.
The 15-year-old committed suicide last year after repeated attempts to stop taunts from bullies.
Prior to the app, students say a green form is what students fill out to report being bullied.
“Because she wasn’t willing to fill it out, there was no action taken. It accumulated and it’s damaging,” said McComas.
A mobile app is not the only way officials are combating bullying. Cameras are now being added to every Howard County school bus to catch bullies in the act.
With more than 400 buses in the fleet, the school district says each bus will now have four cameras.
Kylie Zuiderhof is part of Voices for Change, a group that surveyed students about experiences with bullying.
“We found that all of the kids who had been bullied, reported being bullied once or twice on the school bus,” Zuiderhof said.
Now that multiple tools are in place, Howard County can use them to stop students from falling victim to bullying.
The system is already being used in about 25 other states across the country.
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