Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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May 21, 2013

Bullying just got tougher

Athens ISD adds system to privately report various abuses

ATHENS — To reduce the prevalence of school age bullying the Athens Independent School District has added a new communications tool called Anonymous Alerts, allowing individuals to quickly, easily and anonymously report urgent information that they may otherwise be uncomfortable revealing.

Students, staff and parents can now directly submit private internet-enabled messages to school administrators about bullying, family difficulties, drug and alcohol abuse, depression and any other sensitive student matters.

“Our top priority is protecting our students from harm and encouraging them to reach out when in need,” said Diana Vaughn, AISD Federal Programs Director.  Vaughn also stated, “The Anonymous Alerts service is also helping us conform to Texas’ new anti-bullying law which went into effect September 1, 2012.”

Anonymous Alerts provides a one-way or two-way dialogue, increasing the flow of actionable information so that administrators can quickly address problems as they arise. Messages can be submitted anonymously to school officials (School Principal or Counselor) using a Smartphone or computer. When submitting a message, students can upload or attach a photo directly from their computer, tablet or smartphone to accompany text.  An application is also available to download in the iPhone app store for easy reporting. All reports remain anonymous, although during the process of submitting information senders have the option to reveal their identity if they prefer to have a person-to-person discussion or want to provide further details about an incident.

Anyone wishing to submit information anonymously can visit using an Internet-enabled device, or by going to the Athens Independent School District’s website  and clicking on the Anonymous Alerts link.  Message topics for submission may include student bullying, depression, family difficulties, drug and alcohol problems, sexual harassment, guns/weapons in school or any other unusual student behavior warranting immediate attention by school officials or law enforcement. It is important to note that all false reports will be taken seriously and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  

“We believe that Anonymous Alerts can help increase the flow of sensitive information for those individuals who would not normally come forward for fear of alienation by their peers,” said Gregory Bender, President & CEO of K12 Alerts.


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