Bullying is extreme or repeated unkind actions or words intended to harm or intimidate others to make them feel uncomfortable or excluded. Bullying of any kind is wrong – physical, verbal, online or off, before, during or after school – it is never acceptable. To help in our prevention efforts, District 87 schools have implemented the SchoolReach® CyberBully HotlineTM. The purpose of this program is to create an anonymous, two-way means for students, parents, guardians and others to report incidents of bullying, harassment, intimidation and information on potential harmful or violent acts by others.
When should a student use the hotline?
If they are being bullied by anyone and are afraid to approach you or a teacher.
If they think no one will understand the situation they are in.
If they hear someone boasting about any kind of potential violence.
If they know someone is being harassed online.
If they or someone they know is receiving mean or hateful text messages or images.
If they are not sure if they should call or not..tell them to call or text anyway. It's better to be safe than sorry.
How does it work?
The CyberBully Hotline can receive voice calls and text messages. To send a voice call, simply dial the number and, after the short greeting, leave your message. For text, just send a text message to the number. The service is operational 24/7/365.
Who receives the messages?
A designated school official receives the message directly. No one else can read or see the messages.
Is the system anonymous?
Yes. The caller ID of the sender is replaced with a “sender ID” that is used for message delivery and reporting only. No names or other information are associated with the received messages. The CyberBully Hotline gives us the ability to reply to and have two-way anonymous text message conversations. We do not have the ability to reply to all voice messages, just those left from a mobile device. If you want a reply to a voice message, please call from a mobile or cellular device. Replies come as a text message.
What information should be sent?
Since the service is anonymous, we don’t know who is sending the message/tip. The more information we are given, the more help we can provide. Users are encouraged to provide as much information as possible or as much as they feel comfortable providing. As noted above, we can reply to messages and have an anonymous conversation with the sender. We may ask for more information as necessary. If a CyberBully Hotline user is providing a tip on a violent or harmful act being planned by others, we ask he or she provides as much specific information as possible, immediately, so we can ensure the safety of all students and faculty. Anyone who would like to leave a call back number, or his or her identity, is encouraged to do so.
In an effort to encourage students who may be experiencing bullying, harassment or intimidation and are too fearful or not quite ready to come forward face-to-face to report the matter, Bloomington District 87 is implementing the CyberBully Hotline program in all elementary and secondary schools. Our desire and efforts are, first and foremost, focused on encouraging students to report such issues directly to a teacher, counselor, coach, or school administrator. However, in some cases, a student can be overcome with fear and worry about who to talk to and/or what to say. They may also fear retaliation or losing the respect of their peers. Students with such fears need a reporting path, and the CyberBully Hotline is designed to be just that.
Our goal is to ensure each student feels comfortable coming forward, either face-to-face or anonymously. We are here to help, but we can’t help if we don’t know. As a parent, you are also welcome to report issues. Anything you think we should know to ensure the health and safety of our students should be reported.
If you have any questions about this tool or would like to speak to someone about bullying issues, please contact your school principal.