13 reasons why anonymous alerts can help

This blog is regarding the controversial Netflix® original series 13 Reasons Why and ways that Anonymous Alerts® can help your schools address the issues highlighted in the show.

Within the series, the main character Hannah faces numerous hardships that many students of all ages face. These hardships, along with the lack of help or someone to talk to, are the reasons why she took her own life. Whether school faculty and staff know about it or not, many students are going through similar situations depicted in the show as outlined below:

  • Bullying/Cyberbullying
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Addiction
  • Peer Pressure
  • Feelings of loneliness/neglect

Some have claimed that the series depicts suicide as a glamorized option when one is faced with difficult situations. Suicide should never be glamorized because it is not a solution.  The show does properly depict that it can be hard for students to openly talk to someone about what they are going through. Students feel vulnerable and lost when they have no one to talk to. It is important for schools to play an active role in making sure students have healthy ways to handle difficult situations, and making them aware of how they can help one another through difficult times.

Below are some suggestions for school faculty and staff to discuss with their students:

  • Never be a bystander. If they see something, say something. It could save a classmate’s life.
  • Always tell the truth, you never know how a “lie” or “rumor” can affect someone.
  • Suicide is never an option for anyone, help is always available. Don’t be afraid to seek it.
  • Always make sure students are aware of suicidal signs. They maybe able to spot them more easily than faculty and staff. Students should be encouraged to speak up if they see or hear a student is in trouble.

It is important that students are made aware of the various healthy options they have available to them, both in school and out of school.

The Anonymous Alerts® mobile application can empower students with its anonymous reporting, helpful resources, and on demand video training. When students see something, it will be easier for them to say something with the ability to remain 100% anonymous. The app’s help and resources section can educate and provide helpful information to students in the form of web content, websites, custom videos, YouTube videos and more.

Here are some suggested uses of Anonymous Alerts®:

Anonymous Reporting

  • A student in distress can establish 100% anonymous 2-way communications with a trusted adult, or with school staff about a similar situation depicted in the series.
  • Friends of a student can also be encouraged to speak up with anonymous reporting if they see their friend in need of help.
  • Students should be encouraged to notify a trusted adult if they have any knowledge of occurrences similar to those illustrated in the series.
  • If the school as a whole goes through a tragic event, administrators have the power to send goodwill messages to each student through the app for those whom have opted in.

Anonymous Alerts – Help and Resources

  • Our customizableHelp and Resourcessection of the mobile app is a place for school officials to provide students with helpful materials
  • Materials can included a variety of sensitive topics such as mental health, bullying, self-harm, and more.
  • School officials can customize this section in ways they think best fits their school community.

Some suggested videos that may help a child in need:

Some suggested website resources that may help a child in need:

Feel free to visit our website at www.anonymousalerts.com or call us at 914-220-8326 or (888)291-2090 to learn more and schedule a demo.

We hope you have a safe and healthy end of the school year!

By T. Gregory Bender
President/CEO
Anonymous Alerts®

www.anonymousalerts.com

Copyright © 2017 T. Gregory Bender. All rights reserved.

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Averting a campus crisis with anonymous communications

Thanks to the use of handheld smart phones and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, we can all share and distribute information quickly. Events like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and the recent deadly shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College, underscore how important it is to get information about a potential tragedy before it happens. Gun violence in or around schools has become a national debate concerning school and student safety and the need to revise school safety plans and guns laws are not enough.

Anonymous communications can help to avert a tragedy

The U.S. Department of Education and Secret Service states that for over 81 percent of violent acts or planned events that occur, someone knew about it ahead of time. From most accounts bullying, cyberbullying and/or student depression issues continue to be drivers in school shootings or violent events on and off campus. Anonymous alerts or anonymous communications by students to school officials can be a helpful deterrent to stopping a violent campus event before it happens. It is alleged that prior to the Oregon College shooting various posts were made to social media by the shooter in the days leading up to the campus shooting.

Bullying and student depression

Over 160,000 students stay home every school day due to bullying, according to the National Association of School Psychologists. Student depression among teens and college students is believed to be the leading cause of self-harm and suicide, limiting academic performance and attendance in the classroom. More than ever, young K-12 students and college students have more to contend and deal with in a fast paced social media driven world.

Students are the best source

Students are always monitoring their social media posts and reading what other students post, they can play a significant role by placing anonymous or non-anonymous reports directly to school officials about something they see or hear. School security options today are typically around what happens during or after a crisis. School security cameras catch bullying, harassment, vandalism, theft, security risks as they are happening. Students can be an early warning system for school officials by using their mobile devices to capture social media posts that concern them and send them to school officials.

By T. Gregory Bender
President/CEO
Anonymous Alerts®

www.anonymousalerts.com

Copyright © 2015 T. Gregory Bender. All rights reserved.