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Using Technology to End Bullying in K-12 Schools

Learn how the “edtech” industry is creating software and applications that help K-12 schools respond to and prevent all forms of bullying.

Posted by Katie Yahnke on May 16th, 2019

Between 20 and 32 per cent of children report being bullied by their peers at school.

Thanks in part to anti-bullying policies and awareness campaigns, these statistics are much lower than they have been in the past. However, that’s still one in three (or up to one in five) students who experience bullying, which is still way too high.

Many schools and school districts are turning to technology to further fight against bullying in schools. Reporting hotlines, incident tracking and case management software are a few effective tools that help with anti-bullying efforts.

Download this eBook that explains how case management software works in schools and why it’s the best way to Keep K-12 Schools Safe.


Bullying is Not a Rite of Passage

Some school officials still believe that minor bullying is a harmless part of growing up and overlook the serious repercussions. However, endless studies have debunked the belief that bullying is actually beneficial for children and will “toughen ‘em up”.

On the contrary, the immediate negative effects of bullying include mental and physical health ailments, low self-esteem and an inability to focus. Victims report less academic achievement and less overall enjoyment of school.

Is your anti-bullying awareness campaign not doing so well? Download this free anti-bullying poster to hang in your halls and classrooms.

Bullies and bystanders experience negative effects too. Bullies are more likely to have mental health issues and exhibit criminal behavior in the future. Witnesses to bullying report greater feelings of distress and anxiety, and concern for their own safety.


Going Beyond an Anti-Bullying Policy

Until now, schools have relied on anti-bullying policies to solve the problem. While this is a step in the right direction, experts believe that bullying requires more than a few pages in a policy to resolve.

Schools and their districts need to be open to investing more time and resources into bullying prevention. The entire “edtech” industry has emerged to invent products that help K-12 schools improve education, including responding to and preventing all forms of bullying.

Reporting hotlines, incident tracking programs and case management software have proven to be the most desirable solutions for tackling bullying.

 

Reporting Hotlines and Internet Webforms

Hotlines, whether they’re accessible by phone or online, are a reporting tool for victims or witnesses of incidents. No matter if the issue is bullying, violence, threats, theft or cheating, hotlines reveal problems early so you can address them quickly and entirely.

In a school, students (or staff) can report any issue they experienced directly or witnessed via a hotline or webform. This gives the reporter the power to file a report themselves instead of being forced to discuss it openly. Reporters can remain anonymous, eliminating the fear of retaliation and torment.

 

RELATED: Ending School Violence: 8 Steps to Improved Safety

 

If the hotline is integrated with incident tracking and case management software, the benefits are amplified. Not only will you own data that exposes your school’s high-risk areas and trends, but you can also use this data in your prevention efforts.

 

Incident Tracking and Case Management

Incident tracking and case management software helps administrators to respond to minor issues before they become major ones and generates data that helps prevent future issues. This type of software provides an overview of complaints and investigations, allowing better oversight and risk management.

UNESCO identified countries that successfully reduced bullying and tried to figure out which approach worked best. What they learned was that evidence-based approaches, those informed by data and by a “systemic evaluation of the effectiveness of existing programs”, were most effective.

Only by tracking incidents and investigations do schools have accurate data to create evidence-based approaches. For example, data can show schools their “hot spots” or locations where bullying occurs the most. With this data, schools can reduce bullying by increasing security in these areas.

P.S., check out how Union County Public Schools is using case management software in their incident tracking and investigations process. 


Case Study: Peruvian Schools

UNESCO’s report, Behind the Numbers: Ending School Violence and Bullying, makes a model out of Peru’s Specialized System against School Violence (SiseVE).

Launched in 2013, the system aims to report, manage and monitor school violence cases. SiseVE is a reporting tool for victims and witnesses. It’s also a management system for school officials to register cases, record follow-up actions and monitor data.

UNESCO reports that Peru’s experience “shows that the combination of an effective system to report cases of school violence, together with effective campaigns to raise awareness, can dramatically increase reporting”.


Katie Yahnke
Katie Yahnke

Marketing Writer

Katie is a former marketing writer at i-Sight. She writes on topics that range from fraud, corporate security and workplace investigations to corporate culture, ethics and compliance.

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