MIDLAND - A new app is aiming to stop cyberbullying right in it's tracks. Students can send in evidence of bullying anonymously by the push of a button.
Unfortunately, we've all seen the tragic effects of bullying here in West Texas but one app called "STOPit" aims to diminish that even before it starts.
Chances are you know someone who's fallen victim to the bullying epidemic which takes places mostly on social media.
"[Bullies] won't confront somebody, they'll do it behind the screen because that's when they feel brave," Sgt. Jimmy Young of the Midland Police Department, said.
One app called "STOPit" aims to diminish cyberbullying before it starts.
"We are bringing it up to the forefront. So schools can get in front of an issue, so parents and uncles and clergy and whoever can all be notified at once and wrap their arms around this child in crisis before they internalize and go places where none of us want them to go," President and CEO of STOPit, Todd Schobel, said.
How it works is users submit evidence of cyberbullying, like a screenshot, instantaneously and anonymously to a counselor, an administrator, even the police.
"The trusted adults don't hear about what's going on until there's a tragedy or until there's a really big crisis," Schobel said.
The app also has a "HELPit" option that links directly to a crisis center, providing the user with someone who will listen. If you don't wanna chat, you can text.
Schools who've adopted "STOPit" are seeing big changes.
"One school saw an 83% decrease after three months. They'd average six to nine incidents a month, and it's dropped to one or two," Schobel said.
Other schools notice a complete change in climate.
"They all understand, within seconds, somebody can deliver a very powerful message off and make people aware of what's going on. So it's the deterrent factor, which is what it's all about," Schobel said.
Midland Police say be the hero. If you spot someone being harassed, make the move to "STOPit" before it's too late.
"If you're being bullied, there's a good chance that they're bullying somebody else. So you could be saving someone's life and not even know it," Young said.
If caught bullying, you could face harassment charges or assault by threat.