Hannibal schools using app to thwart threats - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Hannibal schools using app to thwart threats

The app's homepage The app's homepage
Kailee Rickerson (right) and a friend. Kailee Rickerson (right) and a friend.
Hannibal High School rolled out the new app for students Wednesday. Hannibal High School rolled out the new app for students Wednesday.
The report form on the BullyBox app The report form on the BullyBox app

Hannibal High School has implemented a new mobile app called The BullyBox where students can report issues to school administrators without having to disclose who they are.

Even though senior Kailee Rickerson is graduating from Hannibal High School in a few days, she wants her school to continue to improve its safety.

"My little brother is going to be coming to this school soon so it's just something I know when he gets here, he has the opportunity, if something ever happens to him, that he can tell somebody even if he is not comfortable walking up to somebody and telling them," said Rickerson.

"It's definitely important for them to feel like they remain anonymous, that they won't be labeled and people won't find out that they were the reporter," said Cpl. Joel Combs, a Hannibal Police Department school resource officer.

The app can streamline the process of reporting a problem. As soon as you hit the report bullying button, it sends it directly to both school administrators and the police department.

"Our world does go so much faster so we need to get it in real time and the possibility to get the information before its deleted or when it's gone or whatever the case may be," said Hannibal Schools business manager Rich Stilley.

Rickerson said she hopes the app will help change the culture at the school for the better, "This is something that I hope in a few years, I can look back on and realize there's not as much bullying in school because this app allows children who are not comfortable telling somebody, they can just anonymously send it in and bullying will be taken care of."

Only high school students can use the app right now but the school said they will be rolling it out to the middle school and even the elementary schools within the next year.

The school district has taken multiple steps to make their schools safer after the Stoneman Douglas shooting in Florida, including an active shooter seminar for both parents and students along with adding metal detector wands at the school entrances. They also added key-less entry systems.

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