Katy ISD to launch app feature to help combat bullying at schools

KATY, Texas – With the start of the school year just around the corner, Jaimie Pulido said she feels more comfortable sending her three kids to school after a new bullying tip line phone feature was added to Katy Independent School District's phone application.

"Any effort from the district to help stop, prevent and protect children from bullying. I think that's awesome," Pulido said. "This is going to be the new feature that's coming."

Katy Independent School District is planning to launch a new bullying tip line feature on the existing Katy ISD phone app in an effort to combat bullying in schools.

"We take every bullying incident seriously. We want our kids to report it and we hope with this new feature they can go ahead and use it and take advantage of the anonymous option," said Maria DiPetta, a Katy ISD spokesperson. "They need a cellphone (and) they will download the Katy On The Go app."

All students will be instructed in the most effective way to fill out the form

"We need times. We need names if they feel comfortable with that," DiPetta said.

The student can select the school and can choose what information to give. The app feature also allows students to send pictures and their location. After filing the report, a designated administrator is expected to take action. Each school will have an administrator in charge of checking the responses.

"Once the incident is reported, there will be an administrator that will be looking at that alert on a daily basis," the spokesperson said.

Last year, Katy ISD had 147 reports of bullying, 91 of which resulted in discipline.

For Pulido, she said she's happy that the district took this action.

"Children and teens may feel more protected that they can do it from an app," she said.

The district also hopes the feature will help curb bullying.

"You can use the tip line walking to school, coming from school, between two periods," DiPetta said.

Administrators hope the app feature will officially launch by mid-August, which is about the start of the new school year.