New STOPit app aims to deter cyberbullying

Airdrie City View

The same technology that has made cyberbullying more pervasive in society is now being used to help victims and bystanders to instantly and anonymously report acts of online bullying.

STOPit is an app used by hundreds of thousands of students from kindergarten to Grade 12 in the United States, according to company founder and CEO Todd Schobel.

“(Other countries) have signed up to use the product for the 2015 school year,” Schobel said. “They include Ireland, Italy, South Africa and Japan.”

As reported in the July 2 edition of the Airdrie City View, anti-bullying provisions of the City of Airdrie's Public Behaviour Bylaw do not include a mechanism to deal with bullying that happens in a non-public place, including cyberbullying.

“What the courts are still figuring out is what defines ‘a public place,'” Airdrie RCMP Inspector Gordon Sage said on June 22.

Anti-bullying advocate Caitlin Haacke hopes that is something City council will work to change, both through revising the bylaw and perhaps introducing something like STOPit.

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