Sand Springs Sees Dip In Bullying After Creating Hotline

Wednesday, September 7th 2016, 11:02 pm
By: News On 6

A Green Country school district says it's battling bullying in a simple way.

Sand Springs middle schoolers are using a hotline to report bullying incidents, and school leaders say it is working.

It can be hard for a shy seventh grader to talk directly to a principal. It's a lot easier to send a quick text.

A new school year, a whole new ball game; but for some students, school isn't all fun and games - it can be sad.

Stacy Tanner remembers when her son was constantly being bullied.

"They like, literally called him names and they picked on him," she said.

School leaders tried hard to find a solution for students like Tanner's son, so, they unveiled a cyberbullying hotline for kids or their parents to call or text.

This way, they could notify school officials of the incident while staying anonymous.

Clyde Boyd assistant principal, JJ Smith said, "We were just searching for something to give kids a new avenue. There are some kids that are, as you know, a little cautious and don't want to go to adults."

Smith said the hotline is now in its third year, and the results are clear. He believes students are not only less likely to bully but also less likely to act out at all.

"We've seen a drop in our bullying here, and a drop in bad behavior in general because anything can be reported, not just bullying," he said.

The difference, according to Smith, is students now know bullying is easier to report and the school won't hesitate to do something about it.

Smith said Clyde Boyd gets about two or three messages a week, dramatically fewer than when the program first started.

There's peace of mind not just for students, but their parents, too.

Tanner said, "If they can't come to me, they got to be able to go to somebody."

Tulsa Public Schools also uses a call-in hotline for bullying reports. Several other districts take reports online.