Leander ISD is launching a new anonymous reporting system that will allow students to report problems like bullying, harassment, stress, depression, peer pressure, fighting or drugs — in a way that keeps the messaging confidential.
Superintendent Bret Champion explained that 'Talk About It' allows students in fourth- through 12th-grade to send confidential text and online messages to a teacher or campus staff member.
"While not every problem we receive is one that can be resolved," Champion said in his weekly column, "the adult who receives the message can connect with the student and acknowledge the issue."
Other districts using this system have found that staff members and students often begin a dialogue and face-to-face interaction after that first message, Champion said.
"For some students, it is difficult to open up to adults about the issues and challenges they encounter. It may be because they are afraid of reprisal from their peers; they are embarrassed; or they just don’t know to whom to speak," he said in the column. "That’s what makes Talk About It such a valuable resource: it takes the stigma away from being “the snitch” and removes the awkwardness of talking about sensitive topics in front of an adult, while at the same time, connecting students with someone who cares."
CNN recently ran a piece on the software which featured an interview with the principal of the Canyon Vista Middle School in the Round Rock school district.