STOPit app promotes safety for students on campus

The+STOPIt+app+is+an+anonymous+app+where++students+are+able+to+report+a+wide+variety+of+safety+concerns+using+the+app%2C+from+bullying+to+harassment+and+threats+to+the+school.+The+app+is+checked+by+the+six+administrators+on+campus%2C+and+flagged+reports+are+sent+to+the+police+dispatch+as+well+as+district+security+officials%2C+school+staff+and+campus+SROs.

Maddie Aronson

The STOPIt app is an anonymous app where students are able to report a wide variety of safety concerns using the app, from bullying to harassment and threats to the school. The app is checked by the six administrators on campus, and flagged reports are sent to the police dispatch as well as district security officials, school staff and campus SROs.

9077 downloads.

622 reports just this year. 

These numbers are not just numbers. 

They represent the number of potential lives saved, possible injuries prevented, and hidden hazards averted. 

These are the statistics enumerating the number of times the STOPIt App has been downloaded and used across the district since the 2022-23 school year started. In a time when the safety and security of students at schools is a hot topic, Frisco ISD has given every student a voice and the opportunity to make a choice by simply downloading an app on their device.

The STOPit app helps get information out there, and students can help us by reporting things that we don’t normally know which in turn assists us in maintaining school safety,”

— School Resource Officer Glen Hubbard

As soon as somebody submits a report via STOPIt, administrators review the report, rank the importance and act on it accordingly. Action is taken immediately for timely issues pertaining to the immediate safety of a student or the school. 

“Each STOPit report is received by designated campus staff and the School Resource Officer. One of the recipients assigns each report to a specific individual,” FISD Assistant Communications Director Meghan Cone said via email. “The instant messaging or chat feature may be utilized to obtain additional information to assist with the investigation and appropriate resolution of the concern.”

The app also features various systems that prioritize received reports to ensure action based on the seriousness of the issue. 

“The STOPit system flags reports based on certain keywords,” Cone said via email. “When a message is flagged, it is automatically sent to police dispatch as well as District security officials, school staff and campus SROs to address safety and welfare concerns.”

School Resource Officer Glen Hubbard believes the app is vital in helping keep schools and students safe. 

“The STOPit app helps get information out there,” Hubbard said. “Students can help us by reporting things that we don’t normally know which in turn assists us in maintaining school safety.”

The app also protects the safety of the reporter by maintaining utmost confidentiality and anonymity. This helps eliminate fear of retribution as a deciding factor for students to refrain from reporting significant issues. 

“What’s great about the app is it’s completely anonymous and the only thing I see is what’s reported to me,” principal Stacy Whaling said. “Whether it’s vaping or other things that could be potentially dangerous, students let us know pretty quickly and so we can act on it because they’re less afraid of facing retaliation.” 

With more than 1,800 students on campus, Whaling highlights the importance of students observing and reporting their concerns through the use of this app.  

“There are only six administrators in our school so students are our best line of defense against anything unsafe or things that may need to be handled appropriately by the administration,” Whaling said. “You guys are basically the boots on the ground for us.”

For freshman Samantha Whang*, using the app made a difference.

“I noticed in one of my classes that a couple students were repeatedly bullying this one kid. This really really bothered me so I reported it on the app,” Whang said. “The next day some of us in the class got called to the counselors office. I [voluntarily] told the counselors that I was the one who reported it and they asked me some follow up questions. Soon after I noticed the bullying had stopped and I was glad I could help my peer.” 

Whaling also reiterated that all complaints to the app have been and will continue to be handled with priority. 

“I can assure students that all administrators on this campus and district personnel have eyes on the app and if there was any oversight someone from the district would reach out to us,“ she said. “Most times we don’t inform the student who reported the issue on about the outcome which can be misconstrued as the app not work, but trust me when I tell you we take everything with seriousness.” 

Whaling hopes more students will download this app and speak up to help protect themselves and their fellow Redhawks. 

“I think that students’ voices are and students getting the chance to advocate for themselves and their friends is incredibly important so I urge everyone to download the app,” Whaling said. “You never know when it can come in handy.” 

There are only six administrators in our school so students are our best line of defense against anything unsafe or things that may need to be handled appropriately by the administration,”

— principal Stacy Whaling

Whang hopes that by sharing her experience with the STOPIt app, more students will understand the numerous benefits of using the app in certain situations to help administrators quickly handle concerns.  

“I recommend students to use the STOPit app to report any issues. It is helpful because it works really fast,” Whang said. “With my experience, the school staff addressed the issue in less than a day and really helped my friend. It’s also an added benefit that it is anonymous.” 

At the end of the day, through the STOPit app, administrators, teachers and staff can help ensure the wellbeing of their students. 

“There are a lot of reasons why students come to school,” Whaling said. “Our main job is to make sure that you all are safe when you guys are here.”

*the name of the student has been changed to protect their identity