You Talk, It Listens

Taylor Jackson

Just as it is easier to say something harmful behind a computer screen, it is also easier to report something harmful from behind a computer.

In this day and age, where computers are our main way of communication, their uses are being utilized both for evil intent, and now good.

With a rise in harassment, schools and parents alike have been searching for a way to crack down on bullying. So school officials have introduced “Talk About It”, a website students are being asked to use to report problems they have observed. And since malicious rumors and bullying can run rampant around campus, this program could be the next great thing to be introduced to students.

SchoolMessenger, the company behind Talk About It, boasts that in the beginning of the program in 2005, 100 schools joined in 100 days. It is currently being used by over 300,000 students nationwide. Not only that, but statements from schools praise the program for helping to break the code of silence and for stopping problems around schools.

Besides the fact that the computer yells “Talk about it!” when you log on, the program could actually be pretty helpful. Most people that are being bullied don’t come forward for fear of being labeled a snitch or being seen talking to a counselor, but since students are able to choose between submitting tips anonymously or by name, more high-schoolers will hopefully feel more secure in coming forward. Administrators are hoping that because of this safe wall of anonymity in-person and cyber bullying rates will drop.

Not only can students keep their identity a secret, but the service is open 24/7 and is accessible by text and computer, and administrators respond to each submission during the school day. In today’s age of technology, it is now super easy and convenient to “speak up.” It’s almost as if you are telling a trusted friend when you send in the text or online message, except this friend is a reliable adult who can help stop whatever is going on.

Taking the initial step to stop harassment is definitely a step in the right direction. If students utilize this resource to its full potential, I believe that our school can become a safer and happier place.