We love hearing about any anti-bullying initiatives that are out there, such as the efforts from organizations like Beyond Bullies and Nickelodeon’s cybersafety awareness program as a part of their The Big Help efforts. The latest initiative we want to highlight is Sprigeo, created for kids to report bullying incidents that are then dealt with directly by kids’ schools. The site was created because, as stated on its “Our Story” page, 160,000 kids skip school every day to avoid the bullying that awaits them. Kids should feel safe at school so they can concentrate on learning and social interactions without stress or fear. Because of this, Sprigeo’s vision is to “restore the safe and secure feeling kids want to have when they go to school each day” by giving them an outlet to address bullying and report it safely.
To fully utilize Sprigeo’s service, schools sign up and form a partnership with the site. Kids can then file reports about bullying incidents, which not only go directly to a school principal or other administrator in a secure email, but they also are stored in an online database. This allows schools to track the incidents, note any action taken towards resolving issues and record any related incidents. Schools are also given a support package with different materials including a best practices resource for how to deal with bullying.
Sprigeo’s most important asset is the way it holds schools accountable, while also providing support for them. Many bullying incidents in the news report students’ and parents’ frustrations with the lack of support or action they received from a school after reporting incidents. Sprigeo’s intention with the database is to help schools keep better track of bullying incidents, and to more adequately follow up with those incidents. Furthermore, a survey released last week revealed that teachers and school administrators aren’t adequately prepared to educate students about online safety issues including cyberbullying. And because cyberbullying incidents don’t necessarily happen in or during school, it’s unclear what schools’ responsibilities are in these situations. It seems like Sprigeo hopes to change this with their resources and database system, and we encourage schools and parents to look into this kind of alternative option if bullying isn’t being effectively handled.
In what ways is your child’s school proactive about dealing with bullying incidents?