Wyoming District Rolls Out Anonymous Reporting


2/22/2007—Sweetwater County School District No. 2 in Wyoming is launching a new service to help deal with students' personal problems, such as threats and bullying. The service, "Talk About It," from AnComm, lets students report their problems anonymously to school personnel via the Internet. Sweetwater becomes the first district in Wyoming to implement Talk About It.

Talk About It is an online messaging tool that's designed to bridge the communication gap and allow students to report issues anonymously and "engage in safe dialogue with school personnel," AnComm said. It allows students with Internet access to report these problems and receive real-time feedback from school personnel.

Sweetwater began rolling out Talk About It late last month, six months after the school district's board of trustees approved a new Bullying Prevention and Education Policy, the stated goal of which is to prevent harassment and intimidation of students. The anonymous reporting technology has already been implemented in several other states, including, most recently, Benton County School District in Mississippi. Schools in Texas, Wyoming, California, Ohio, and Arkansas are also served by Talk About It.

"By using Talk About It, Sweetwater schools will have a built-in system that allows for reporting, documenting and responding to violent threats," said Carter Myers, president of AnComm, in a prepared statement . "At the same time, it protects victims from retaliation, which is a major reason bullying and violent behavior are not reported in the first place. Students have reported a variety of issues through the system, including cyber-bullying, depression, fighting, drug and alcohol abuse, pregnancy, family problems and cutting."

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

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