Primary and high school students could have an anti-bullying tool already in their pockets — a mobile phone.
A two-way texting service that allows students to report instances of bullying, unsafe behaviour or mental health problems while remaining anonymous to their peers was released in Australia today by education technology company Blackboard Inc.
The release coincides with the national day of action against bullying and violence.
TipTXT allows victims of bullying to seek help through confidential text conversations between students and school officials.
School staff can then provide resources or advice to help on a case-by-case basis.
An estimated one in four Australian students are harassed or bullied each day, federal government research has found.
NSW Secondary Principal’s Council president Lila Mularczyk expected some, but not all western Sydney high schools would use the service.
‘‘Schools will always make their own decisions about what they use as anti-bullying resources,’’ she said.
‘‘I would say that any resource that helps to identify students with mental health problems in need of support would be welcomed by schools, however the anonymous nature also has the capacity for it to be used as a tool for mischievous behaviour as well.’’