OutBully, Stand Up, Be Heard!
Every day hundreds of kids get bullied when they go to High School or even Collage. This effects their outlook on school and the perspective they have on the education system. Many kids who get bullied in school and don't resolve or get the bullying to stop are less successful, drop out or in some cases take things into their own hands.
School Climate - A few days ago Secretary Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder announced new guidelines to stop the school to prison pipeline and improve school climate. This critical issue is not just about bullying, but about creating an inclusive school climate where all students can achieve their maximum potential.
Our teams ideal vision for this project is to be able to create a viable project that I would be able to release to the market at a later time period. There are not many Interfaces on the market like this yet and this could help a lot of students who are going through bullying at school but are worried about reporting it in person.
What it does
OutBully consists of two parts, the mobile iOS app (student side) and the Web platform (administrator side)
The user (student) side
OutBully is a iOS app, the iOS app is used to submit reports of bullying and is where students can monitor their status of the report they sent in.
The Administrator side
OutBully is also a web platform for administrators to be able to log in and view the reports that were sent in and update the status weather the report is being investigated or it is still under review.
How I built it
OutBully was built with mainly Objective C along with swift for the iOS side. The administrator side and the web platform was built with Node.JS, HTML, CSS and PHP.
Challenges I ran into
I ran into many challenges, the main challenge was finding the best and most efficient way to get a beta version of OutBully show by the end of HackingEDU
What I learned
Essentially what I learned was how to integrate iOS with a web platform and allow the two to communicate back and fourth.
What's next for OutBully/OneUp
Our next steps are to be able to be able to test a beta version of OutBully in some schools and then launch publicly after that
OutBully's target market would consist of school's and collages in the United States and Canada
The Facts and Research
In the United States and Canada, bullying is a major concern especially in junior and high schools. Students who grow up being bulled are less confident, less compelled to make wise choices and in some incidents can even lead to self harm or the student could also become more negative in general. The Bully Box which is the traditional method of reporting bullying has worked in several situations and there have been way more reports of bullying submitted in schools which have instated the Bully Box. The Bully Box is a box, about the size of a shoe box (maybe slightly larger), that is clearly marked and sits in the main office or guidance office. The idea of the Bully Box is to be able to prevent bullying at a higher level and allow more students who may not feel comfortable with reporting incidents of bullying to allow them to report it. There have also been several articles that have reported on how schools are trying to instate bullying boxes.
The quotes below are from teachers and parents at high schools in the United States.
“Many bullying incidents were largely un-reported, students and families were seeing many more problems than the staff, students may be afraid to tell their teacher or belong to groups that do not express those concerns to a teacher, or have an adult they felt comfortable telling in the building. All of these things led us to decide to create the bully box.”
“Davis said Florida law requires that schools provide students a way to anonymously report bullying incidents but leaves the school districts to come up with their own ways of doing so. She realized that Highlands County schools were not addressing that statute requirement, so Lake Placid High School technical class students made the boxes that have been installed in all the schools except two. Davis explained she has not had the chance to meet the principals of the two schools, but the boxes will be soon be put into place. They were getting 70 a day, saying 'I'm being bullied,'" she said, so Highlands County decided to go with the boxes that allowed the students to report bullying anonymously.”
What we believe
Our team believes that based on the information that is related to bullying and the installment of a Bully Box that if there was a easier way to report bullying anonymously through a iOS, Android app or a website for everyone in the United States and Canada to report bullying to the schools main office or the administrator then there could be a chance to for a big market reach. If the system was viable and able to reach the mass majority of the market then OutBully could reach a lot of students in need.
Teachers and students in the past have thought of ideas to combat Bullying through a similar way either online or through a app. However the problem that exists is that each school has to develop a platform like a Bully Box and this is inconsistent and unreliable because not every school uses the same method.
One of the possible computers of this upcoming system would by Brandon Boyton’s BullyBox app. (http://bullyboxreport.com/) However even though his initial intension was good, he has only reached a few schools in only the United States that are shown on the map below. There are around 30,000 public high schools in the United States alone, so even though his company has been able to get a few schools onboard across the United States, he still only has less then 1% of the market. Also his system costs $499 a year which could put many school’s out of reach of his Bully Box system.
A few other computers would be local anti bullying services but they would not be a major competitor as of right now.