On Your Side Alert: Apps help combat bullying

On Your Side Alert: Apps help combat bullying

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A new tool to fight bullying can be downloaded right to your smartphone.

Finding a student without a smartphone today, would be bit of a challenge. So, AT&T says smartphones are the perfect place to offer a tool that could help decrease bullying. The company offers several apps to combat the problem.

"I take it personally, because I was bullied in school," employee Joel Williams said. "So, something like this, I actually think it's nice that we are having apps available for children, especially since all children have smart phones these days."

Bully Block lets you secretly record audio and block texts and pictures. The Bully Button also allows users to record bullies and lets students get in touch with their parents or school leaders.

Tip Submit mobile, gives students a way to anonymously report bullying and other crimes to police and school administrators.

"We haven't had any gauge as far as being able to tell if anybody is using it," Williams said. "As far as downloads, there are a quite a few downloads. So, whether it is kids, or parents getting kids to download it, it's definitely being downloaded,"

AT&T is not on the only provider offering these bullying apps. Check with your carrier to see what's available. If you haven't talked to your children about bullying, these apps may be a perfect way to start the conversation.

"A lot of times when you are bullied in school and you tell your parents, they don't listen to what you are saying or they will tell you, 'someone is giving you a hard time,' not to worry about it," Williams explained. "Once you have something recorded, actually audio of what they are saying, that makes a huge difference."

Williams says more and more parents are asking about ways they can use the smart phone to keep their kids safe. He says while an App may not put an end to bullying, just knowing someone could have it, may deter the bully.

Bullying statistics: http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/school-bullying-statistics.html

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