August 21st, 2017
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BullyBox – the app that allows anonymous bully-reporting

EdChron Desk on August 6, 2014 - 3:33 pm in EdNews, MAIN, Science & Tech, The Good Stuff, U.S., World

 

WORLD / Indiana, U.S. – There are many apps out there that distract, ridicule or mock others in the name of fun. In schools, such apps may encourage bullying and lower self-esteem. One of the reasons why many cases of bullying isn’t reported by a bystander is they fear the bullies may turn on them.

Bully reporting app developed by teen

There is now an app that allows bullying to be reported anonymously. And to top it off, the app is created by a teenager – who have seen and even experienced some sort of bullying first-hand.

The thing about bullying is that we’ve always regarded it as part and parcel of growing up. Everyone gets bullied, “kids are being kids”, “he’s just joking / fooling around /having a little bit of fun”. There is a difference between joking around and getting picked on. (Read this article for more information on bullying.) Pendleton Heights Junior Brandon Boynton took nine months to create an app that could possibly address the issue of unreported bullying.

Brandon Boynton’s eureka moment

Physical bully boxes where students can drop a note to let teachers know of a bullying occurrence has always been on campuses. “One day it just hit me and I was like, ‘Wow, there are so many people go into this issue, no one wants to actually go up and put a physical piece of paper in the box because it’s typically in a very populated area of the hallway and people are going to see you. It’s not really anonymous. And I thought, why don’t I make an app that allows people to do it on their phone where anybody around thinks you’re sending a text or a tweet,” said Boynton.

On the website, Boynton states his mission and background story:

“While I (the owner of MostBeastlyStudios LLC and The BullyBøx) don’t quite enjoy admitting it, I have had several experiences with bullying… Namely in middle school. In 8th grade, I developed a strong passion for anti-bullying. I also knew that I very much enjoy developing mobile software. Then, one day in history class, it clicked. I need to combine the two. I then spent my entire Fall Break coding, and eventually developed a primitive version of The BullyBøx. Since then, the app and the back end have become much more complex, reliable, and are ready to be used widely.”

“My mission with The BullyBøx is to make it easier for students to seek help. Whether it is the victim who is reporting anonymously to avoid shame, or a witness is reporting on the victim’s behalf, I want to ensure that students have an easy way out of being bullied. I want to prevent as many students as possible from spiraling into the hellish depression I, and so many others, have faced.”

How BullyBox works

The BullyBox can be downloaded through the Apple App store and Google Play. A visit to the website tells you how the app works:

When the student opens the app, he or she is offered three options. The first option allows the user to view Indiana law regarding bullying. The third option allows the user to view tips on how to avoid bullying, and how to handle certain situations.

The most important part of the app, however, is the ability to report acts of bullying safely and anonymously through our SSL encrypted servers! Please see to the screenshot above. The students can fill out any information they have about one or many incidents, as well as attach photographic evidence. This photo could be something taken in the heat of the moment; or more likely, it could be a screenshot of cyber-bullying.

When the student taps the send button, the report is automatically sent through our servers, and emailed to the designated school faculty member.

The app interface looks simple and clean, a huge plus as that allows for easy navigation. The app requires school to register, and it costs $1 per student per month. Once your school has registered, a student looking to report the bullying will enter the school’s password. You can then proceed with reporting the bullying incident anonymously.

Bullyboxapp-UI

Wishtv.com has covered the story as well:

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