Stop It: Its Place in School

After the Holmes Junior High gun threat, there has been much speculation around the app that was used to make this anonymous report and if it is the best system of reporting concerns around school. Stop It is a web app or a phone app where an administrator or principal of a school, in this case, sets up an account and is given a code. That code is given to every student at school so those students can log in to the app and anonymously report bullying, sexual assault, threats and discrimination happening on campus.
Da Vinci also has a Stop It code. Flyers with the code are floating around campus. The anonymous messages are sent to Principal Tyler Millsap, Vice-Principal Scott Bell and Campus Supervisor Mike Barron.
Use of the app began this year from suggestion by the district to Mr. Millsap. Mr. Millsap willingly installed the app but with some precautions.
“I chose to put it in place this year but I do not believe it should be the primary mode for which we address conflict or safety or bullying on campus,” Mr. Millsap said. “I really feel like it’s sort of the last tool in a line of better tools.”
He decided to activate the account for the few students and parents who have wanted a purely anonymous reporting system.
Mr. Millsap does not discredit Stop It, acknowledging definite pros to using the app, but from the beginning he did realize that a situation like the Holmes Junior High gun threat report could occur. “[It] highlighted some of the concerns about a purely anonymous reporting system so I think everything has pros and cons and one of our early experiences in the district with this is very much in the column on the negative,” said Mr. Millsap. “I still believe there are pros and potentially positives […] I think as soon as this went into place I acknowledged the possibility that something like this could happen.”
Using Stop It as the only reporting system is what worries Mr. Milsap. But, instead of focusing on the harm Stop It could do, Mr.Millsap wants the students of Da Vinci to focus on the resources Da Vinci already has in place, such as restorative practice. “One of our gigantic pushes that we have made over the last few years is to put in place restorative practices,” Mr.Milsap expressed. He hopes that restorative practices and conferences are used prior to students turning to anonymous reporting of harm done.
As a small community Da Vinci is able to achieve appropriate conversation with each other to address conflict with peers and teachers using restorative practice. “My hope is always that students feel supported and confident enough to speak to their peers or speak to an adult to get the help that they need. That is absolutely my philosophy and approach and hope,” Mr. Millsap concluded.

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