SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— An educational technology company is launching a new service to help fight bullying in schools. Blackboard’s tip text program will let students anonymously report harassment.

This is a big company that’s been around and has a lot of services aimed at school districts. This is their newest feature, which is an anonymous reporting system where you can take your mobile phone and if you see a bullying situation or are involved in one, you can report it to school authorities.

The theory is that many kids are intimidated for a variety of reasons and may not want to come forward in a physical way or they don’t want the bully to know who they are. So they file a report through text system and the school can follow up.

And they’re not the first organization to do it; there are others, like Safe To Tell, that don’t necessarily offer text service, but do give a platform for anyone to anonymously report bullying.

Ultimately, I tend to agree with a colleague who made the point that it depends on how the school handles the information and tips. Will they handle them wisely? Are they going to take a positive proactive approach and try to avoid being punitive whenever possible?

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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