A High-tech Approach to Control Bullying in Japan
NHK World News reported on Feb.18, 2017 that a school in the Kansai area (Tezukayama Elementary School in Nara) is the first in the country to employ smart phones apps aimed at addressing bullying. With the app, students can report incidents, send messages and photos through the app service providers to the school. School bullying has been a serious problem in Japan, where group inclusivity is a major social concern. When surveyed about bullying, Japanese students often describe ostricization and online harassment as the main forms of bullying that are present in society; usually mentioned before physical violence as the typical form of modern bullying.
The school at the focus of the story has a section of their webiste dedicated to the various security measures that they take, including the new Stop!T app.
The Stop!T app is already being used by a number of schools in America. For the app to be used students must download the app, which is free, but schools must pay a fee to the software developers to be included in the system, this is how the developers make money from the system. The app was developed by an American company. The iTunes App store currently only has 21 ratings, the reports mention that the app has been used in America for about a year. There seem to be number of other [anti]bullying apps. Hopefully this new approach will help to make reduce bullying and the high rates of suicides among Japanese students.