Bullying and cyberbullying have become a problem that all schools must address.
In Tennessee, the inception of Tennessee Code 49-6 Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying and Cyber-Bullying defines specific requirements for schools to address behaviors both on and off school grounds. We know that TNRMT member schools continuously struggle to build and manage programs to keep students safe.
We feel STOPit is an excellent solution. It is an app-based solution that includes a secure cloud-based back end incident management system for administrators. Because STOPit provides anonymous reporting and secure evidence storage, its usage can extend beyond just bullying to all forms of inappropriate behaviors that are a risk to our schools, staff and reputation.
Recently, TNRMT's Program Manager, NGU Risk Management, was approached by the Public Entity VP of Great American Insurance Company about STOPit. Great American has been a loyal partner of TNRMT for years, as they provide excess coverage for all liability lines above TNRMT's primary coverage layer. Great American feels so strongly about the STOPit program they have provided financial incentives that when combined with the purchasing volume of TNRMT, enable us to offer this unique program to TNRMT members at one-third of the normal cost (see cost and payment information below).
How it works
Students utilize the STOPit App for real-time reporting of incidents including photos, screenshots, messages, etc. Those reports seamlessly become incident evidence stored on a secure cloud - not the school's server or administrator's computer. This is an important feature for sensitive material. Students also receive 24/7 crisis center access via talk or text for emergency situations.
STOPit's incident management system allows administrators to track, assign and archive incident data in a way that is compliant with DOE and Tennessee state requirements and maintain records for future protection. One of the most important features is the real-time alerts. Administrators set up rules for which staff members are to be notified for different occurrences for appropriate action before a situation escalates.
Like all schools, our member schools suffer from limited resources. Even solutions that address issues as important as compliance with state law, can be a daunting task for already strained school resources.
Important information from our evaluation of the STOPit product includes the deterrence factor achieved with schools that implement the product and the ease of installation. STOPit schools have seen more than a 50% decrease in bullying*. Also important is the ease of set up. Since it is cloud-based technology there is no installation required.
At TNRMT, our goal continues to be to support member schools in efforts to improve school safety and mitigate risk. With that in mind, we entered into a partnership with STOPit to bring this solution to our schools at a reduced cost.
Students report more than just bullying incidents.
An important aspect of this program is that students are free to report any type of inappropriate behavior. Incidents of sexual advances, drugs and violence are frequently reported since students are able to do so anonymously. Reports are submitted by anyone-not just victims, but witnesses, friends, or others who learn of such incidents through social media. Clearly this makes the school a safer place and provides a very real deterrent to perpetrators when they realize this reporting system is in place.
Cost and Payment Information
As a TNRMT member, this program is available at an annual cost of .69 cents per student. We recommend the program be made available to all middle and high school students. This cost will be billed upon enrollment of each school system on a pro-rata basis to 6-30-2016. To assist those school systems that do not have funding available currently, TNRMT will advance the cost of this pro-rata period to STOPit. TNRMT will bill the member the annual cost of the upcoming full year, 7-1-2016 to 6-30-2017, for all participant school systems who so elect, on their TNRMT renewal invoice next June.
We are aware from TNRMT Board members that many Tennessee school systems have received funds from The Safe and Supportive Schools Grant (S-3) which may be used to purchase STOPiT. Other grants may be available as well.
We encourage you to take a closer look at this solution. You can learn more and enroll at www.tnrmt.com/stopit.
If you have questions or wish to discuss this further prior to enrollment, please call:
Tom Montgomery, NGU Risk Management
* While results are not guaranteed, they are based on actual school data.
View the TN Compliance Table to see just how STOPit can help your school meet Tennessee's law requirements.