Why a Bullying Hotline Isn’t Enough

Some schools and districts are now providing students and parents with an anonymous method on their websites to report bullying incidents. This represents one of many steps taken in using technology as a resource to reduce incidents of bullying and harassment.

The philosophy behind this approach considers that many students will be less apprehensive to report bullying from behind a computer screen. People are, by nature, more inclined to report threatening issues if they can extricate themselves from personal liability or harm.

It’s good to remember, however, that a bullying hotline is not a complete solution to the problem of bullying, especially cyberbullying, which has grown rapidly in the past two decades and is showing no signs of regression. Here are two principal limitations:

1-2016The websites generally are not monitored during weekends, holidays or after school hours. When students finally do bring themselves to report a bullying incident, it’s because the situation has gotten out of hand. Many bullying situations need immediate attention, due to a threat of the life or well-being of the victims involved.

Based on Gaggle Safety Management data from last year, approximately 40% of threatening situations discovered occur outside of school hours, which means website reporting systems will not be able to respond in a timely manner to almost half of reported incidents.

2-2016A solution that catches bullying in action is still better than one that depends on students and parents actively reporting it. No doubt, a website reporting system will increase school and district awareness of these issues, but some other situations will still go unreported. A website reporting system needs to be combined with other technical resources to catch bullying, especially cyberbullying, in action.

For more information on how Gaggle Safety Management provides early warning detection for cyberbullying and other threatening situations, email us at sales@gaggle.net or call us at (800) 288 7750.

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