WINFIELD, W.Va. — Students in Putnam County are back in school and with their return are being encouraged to download a free app provided by the county school system. It’s called the “Stop It” app and it’s designed to make each school safer and more secure by allowing easier reporting of potential threats and problems.
“A lot of students don’t feel comfortable walking into a principal’s office or counselor’s office to discuss what’s going on in life and some don’t even feel comfortable discussing those thing with their parents,” said Danielle Gillespie, Coordinator of Drug Prevention and Education for Putnam County Schools. “But they do feel very comfortable using their phones. This is a way for kids to have an avenue they feel safe to express anything going on in their life that may need assistance.”
The App is available for download to all devices. It’s also available to all students in Putnam County, including the elementary schools. Each school has a specific code, but that’s the only identity. Beyond knowing the school the student attends the rest of the information is unknown unless a student is willing to divulge.
“Everything else about their report is anonymous. School administrators and counselors will receive the report immediately when the student submits it. There can be dialogue via the app at that time and they can offer any support or help or anything the student may need,” she said.
The student doesn’t have to divulge their identity unless they wish to do so. Gillespie said the app has a range of potential to allow for reports of potential threats of violence, bullying, cyber-bullying, drug use, or in some cases problems with home life or thoughts of suicide.
“Is it going to be something that’s new and kids are excited about it or is it something kids are going to keep in their back pocket until they need to use it.? We’re not real sure,” said Gillespie.
The app is a free download for students and the county is advertising the app via social media and in posters provided by the app developer in each individual school.