November 29, 2012
This fall, the Big Sur School District implemented an anonymous, anti-bullying reporting system called Sprigeo.
Sprigeo provides an online platform for bully prevention for $295 per year. Victims, parents and bystanders can log on and anonymously report bullying directly to their school’s principal. The principal is then free to verify the bullying event, track events over time and take disciplinary action.
Raeanne Thomasson, superintendent of the Big Sur School District, reports that Sprigeo has yet to be fully implemented due to technical difficulties. “We have difficulty with our internet sometimes,” says Thomasson. “And besides, we’re so small. I don’t know that [Sprigeo is] something we will have to use.”
Despite a historical lack of bullying in her district, which contains only 21 students, Thomasson feels that Sprigeo is a reasonable precautionary measure. In response to concerns that bullies may misuse the anonymous reporting system, she states: “That’s how bullies operate—they remain hidden.”
Thomasson is confident that an understanding of local students and the well-researched psychology of bullying will allow principals to identify and address real bullying events from online reports. So far, no reports have been filed.