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Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD has launched a new app it hopes will encourage students to report bullying.

The Anonymous Alerts app went live Thursday, and officials are working on educating students, parents and teachers on how they can utilize it. According to the district, the app is an anti-bullying and safety reporting system that helps combat bullying and other negative activity in schools by empowering students to speak up.

“We believe Anonymous Alerts will give our students a voice outside of our traditional communication channels to come forward anonymously with concerns about sensitive issues without fear of retribution by their peers,” said Mario De La Rosa, C-FB ISD director of safety and security.

Within the app, students can anonymously submit reports for a number of different types of bullying including cyber bullying, sexual abuse, gang violence, theft, threats, drug abuse and vaping. Students can also specify at what school and exactly where inside the school the incident took place.

The report then goes to the safety and security director and campus administrators who will respond to the incident in a timely manner.

“We’ve chosen this avenue because we want the kids to feel comfortable reporting things,” De La Rosa said. “It’s an easy way to download an app and start a two-way conversation.”

De La Rosa said he has seen success with the app in other districts he's worked at. For example, when he served at Round Rock ISD, parents always gave him positive feedback, he said.

“We started to see a rise in kids downloading the app,” De La Rosa said. “We gave them a voice to report things and wrongdoings.”

The free app is available on both Iphone and Android platforms. When using the app, users have the option to remain anonymous or reveal their identity when submitting a report, according to the district.

“Our district wants to be proactive when it comes to school safety plans and Anonymous Alerts helps us do that,” DeLaRosa said.

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