HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM)-- A new app might make it much easier and less intimidating to report bullying at Hannibal Public Schools.
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, students in rural areas are 15.5% more likely to be bullied than students in urban areas.
When students are bullied, many times, they find it difficult to tell teachers, principals, or even school resource officers.
The Hannibal Public Schools Disitrict reconized that coming forward can be tough.
Hannibal Public School District business manager Rich Stilley said the district switched from a bully box to the Courage2Report App when the highway patrol brought it forward.
"But this Courage2Report really is kind of all-inclusive and the thing is from a management standpoint, that it allows us and forces us to make sure none of these ever slip through the cracks," Stilley said.
School Resource Officer Sgt. Joel Combs said when a student uses the app, they immediately get an email and take action.
"It helps us to kind of monitor and keep track of who has done an investigation on that particular incident," Combs said. "Then we are forced to go in and document."
Stilley said he hopes this shows the students they are here to help.
"We want them to know that we're listening, that we want to be part of the solution and that we want them to feel safe and secure," Stilley said.
Combs said the anonymous nature should ease minds.
"They are constantly on their cell-phones. So it wouldn't be anything for them to have a cell-phone out and access that website or that app anonymously. Kids wouldn't know that they are actually making a report," Combs said.
The app is open 24/7 to students and parents. The reports go to the principal, Rich Stilley, and the Hannibal Police Department.
Courage2Report is a free app.
Mobile App: Courage2ReportMO
Call: (866) 748-7047