FightSong! Introduces First App Designed to Prevent School Violence
Industry: Mobile Apps
Social-emotional reporting platform connects students with their school counselors, reducing isolation and minimizing incident escalation.
WICHITA, KS (PRUnderground) October 1st, 2019
FightSong! introduces a social-emotional and anti-bullying app that enables students to report incidents and reach out to school counselors in a way that teens can feel comfortable: through their media devices.
The goal of FightSong is to prevent school violence– whether self-directed or externalized, by providing students support for conflicts when they first arise.
Created for middle and high school students, FightSong! empowers teens to become advocates for their mental health and physical safety by first seeking emotional support, even confidentially, if necessary. However, unlike anonymous reporting apps, counselors can identify the students reporting and follow up with reports.
The next-generation app is a cloud-based incident management platform provided as a free download to students, by schools districts, who subscribe to the service. In addition to traditional confidential reporting incidents on their mobile devices or school-issued Chromebooks via FightSong!, students are able to seek their counselor’s support within a chat function.
Students can access resources for coping with bullying, anxiety, and stress. School counselors and administrators can reach students at any time to communicate, as well as track report data through a secure portal, essentially creating a picture of the social health of its student body, increasing accountability and centralizing report management across multiple educators to ensure no student falls through the cracks.
FightSong! co-founders James and Staci Smith believe that the best way to improve mental health support and stop bullying in schools is to provide adequate emotional support for teens, build trust between students and administrators, and create a sense of community at school. The father-daughter team learned through their personal experiences with bullying that having a safe channel through which to openly communicate, without the initial involvement of law enforcement, is key to building that trust.
“Bullying is a mental health, counseling support issue,” said co-founder James Smith, a software engineer by trade and President of Twotrees Technologies, a national education tech company. “FightSong! is founded on reaching out and engaging a trusted safe person––whether they be counselor, teacher, SRO officer or administrator––and finding the hope and strength to cope, and the confidence that it will pass, thus “taking back their life” and preventing [students] from resorting to violence or self-harm. It is also about having checks and balances in incident response to ensure that proper support is being given and documented.”
A recent Pew Research study on the concerns and challenges of being an American teen found that 55% of teens said bullying was a major problem among their peers. About a fifth of high school students (19% in 2017) reported being bullied on school property, and 14.9% said they’d experienced cyberbullying in the previous year. Depression and anxiety are also on the rise among teens. In 2016, 12.8% of youths ages 12 to 17 had experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, up from 8% as recently as 2010.
Staci Smith, co-founder, and spokesperson of FightSong!, understands that there may always be bullies in the world at large, and perhaps that won’t change overnight. “What we can do though, is change how we react to situations and communicate with these bullies so they do not have power over our emotions or mental health,” said Smith. “At FightSong! we are shifting the focus [from blame] to building a support network within schools where students feel safe and in control. With this [in mind] we can create a better and more understanding world for our students to navigate.”
For more information visit www.fightsong.com.
Founded in February 2018, James and Staci Smith created FightSong!, a next-gen anti-bullying and reporting app, to help address the underlying causes of bullying––inadequate emotional support–– by promoting self-advocacy and student empowerment. By addressing the root cause and lasting emotional impact of bullying, FightSong! engages students in a streamlined confidential conversation with school counselors and administration about topics ranging from bullying incidents to student mental health. FightSong! is a secure, Cloud-based platform with robust analytics, managed with a subscription by school districts and provided as a free resource to its students.