Pharos-Tribune

Community News Network

October 7, 2013

New software program helps schools track bullying

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania company says it has found a better way to help the nation's schools battle bullying – with the click of a computer mouse.

A program called Hibster, created by Coast 2 Coast Cellular, allows school officials to quickly file, report and track bullying and intimidation accusations and to spot trends, said Chief Operating Officer Lonta Townsend.

In the past two years, more that 200 schools have adopted the Hibster software program in New Jersey, where a strict 2011 law has mandated that school leaders both report and address bullying accusations. With other states considering similar moves, Townsend said the company has new opportunities to take the program nationwide.

"We've created a universal reporting system that I don't think anyone else can match," said Townsend. "It gives schools a program that is set up specific to each state's guidelines ... and streamlines the information collection and reporting process."

Coast 2 Coast's operations director, Beth Freiwald, said the software was conceived three years ago as a way to help schools battle bullying. The development came at a time when stories across the country drew attention to students who had killed themselves because of mistreatment at school and through social networks.

New Jersey crafted requirements in 2011 forcing state schools to document, investigate and resolve accusations of bullying. State guidelines require school administrators, parents involved and board leaders to be alerted of findings. Schools were expected to quickly implement the new guidelines, and some worried about the cost.

Townsend said that's where Hibster comes in. The software program saves school officials time by eliminating the paper process, providing an efficient reporting program so schools "don't have to reinvent the wheel" to comply.

School staff and administrators are able to add data into the program, selecting the type of offense and location where it occurred. They also can upload surveillance camera video or screenshots of social media harassment, if applicable, Freiwald said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.