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Local graduates develop app to help report bullying

Reported by: Sandra Gonzalez
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Updated: 8/19/2014 6:33 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV – Bullying is a problem for many kids in schools, and for those who are a victim of bullying, it could be hard to even report it.

But this week, a new app was introduced to Clark County School District teachers that will help kids report bullying. Some of the creators are graduates from CCSD.

The Bully Alert app was created after Marcos Ontiveros brainstormed in his web class, wanting to do something to help his sister who had experienced bullying.

"It was just kind of sad just seeing her cry, we would ask her what's wrong just tell us," Ontiveros said.

Ontiveros was attending Southwest Career and Technical Academy and had also become concerned about reported bullying cases.

"How can I make a solution out of a problem and so I was already on my phone and I was: 'Wait a second! Why isn't there an app out there?" Ontiveros said.

After graduation, Ontiveros and three other young men from the Las Vegas valley teamed up to form Bully Alert, a software company. The School District took the first bite. The Bully Alert app will be used in select middle schools so students can file a bullying incident report from their phones, directly to the administration.

Blaze Brooks is the backbone of the app operation.

"Within the past year, I saw so many accounts happen, so many experiences, I've seen so many kids get hurt, and there's nothing out there that's actually being effective and worked on to help kids with bullying," said Brooks, also a recent CCSD graduate.

There are categories on this app from violence to cyber. And the alerts go directly to designated administrators who can see the reports online.

Marketing Director Evan Savar says it is user friendly for students.

"Kids don't want to go into the office. It's really intimidating, so now they can pull out their phone, two minutes, and type up a report and all of the administration gets it. I think it solves a big problem," Savar said.

And he says bullies may think twice because even the quiet kids can file reports.

Bully Alert will initially be piloted in a handful of schools, but these entrepreneurs hope it spreads to other schools in CCSD and across the nation.

Bully Alert app creators say they realize some students may abuse the app, so they are working to reduce that through email verification and other measures.


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