Beaufort Co. students use app for bullying reports

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) – Safety on social media is a hot topic now after several violent, even deadly acts have been posted on Facebook.  Now there are new features in place so you can find help for someone in need or report violence.

Locally, though, the Beaufort County School District takes its own measures to protect students against bullying and threats, through an app called Say Something that every student has downloaded on their school-issued device.

With just the touch of a button, Beaufort County students can start their report on bullying or threats they receive in or out of school.

“In a matter of 20 seconds we can have the information in the hand of school administrators,” Dr. Gregory A. McCord, Chief Auxiliary Services Officer with the district said.

In its third year now, the district has received thousands of submissions.  Just this year, more than two thousand have come through. “We don’t know what’s going on in the lives of kids at every moment and this gives them the opportunity to report something anonymously,” McCord said.

Once a student submits a report it goes to a district monitor- who sends it to the appropriate school official and, if needed, law enforcement.
“It gives them a voice, an opportunity to voice their concern,” H.E. McCracken Middle School Principal Jerry Henderson said.  “It allows them to feel a little bit more safe and the opportunity to report something if needed.  And also indirectly it increases any type of bullying type of activity because students are aware that at any given moment.”

Earlier this month social media giant Facebook announced it was adding 3,000 new employees to its security department to review content for crime and suicide.

It follows several violent acts airing on the online platform–and shared by users.

Part of the changes include a way people can report whether someone may be bullying or posting content that makes a suicidal reference. Henderson sees the move as an extra way to keep his kids protected.

The Beaufort County Schools app allows students to report issues with a student or a teacher. There’s even an option to attach video or photos to back up the claims.

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