Bristow Elementary Students Design Online Program to Combat Bullying

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) --One teacher at Bristow Elementary School in Bowling Green came up with the idea to create an online program to combat bullying at school. Now, officials at the board of education are now looking at using the program at more Warren County schools.

One fifth grade teacher at Bristow wanted to combat bullying, while increasing communication between students, parents and teachers.

"Alot of times children report bullying, but they report it to the people they trust most, which is often their parents," said 5th grade teacher Leah Renfrow.

With more access to the internet and social media, computers can become a medium for bullying, but with the help of some students in the school's student technology leadership program, the web is now used to fight bullying with a new program called Report a Bully.
The program was designed by four sixth grade students using Google Drive, in which all students and staff have accounts.

"They will hit the drop down box to select their homeroom teachers name or their grade, or their child's grade depending if it's the parent. Then they will put the bully's name. It could be one or more or they may not know the bully's name, so they'd put unknown. If they know the bully's grade, they'll put that as well," said Renfrow.

Then they add the time and date along with a description of the incident. Two of the creators say this can be a more comfortable means of reporting for some students.

"I think that some people are because I have alot of shy friends and they don't really like to talk to adults about that stuff," said student program designer Rylee Turner.

"Instead of like going and telling, and someone might see you, and then the bullying would keep on happening, but in that, no one knows except for you and your teacher," said student program designer Hailey Crow.

Renfrow says the program, which has been live for about two weeks, is not intended to replace direct student, teacher and parent conversations or reporting, but adds another convenient option. Renfrow says the school cannot investigate any type of bullying situation that doesn't occur on school property or during school hours, and that is noted in the new program's online form.

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