Empower Bully Reporting App
The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario has partnered with InTouch Mobile, to develop an anti-bullying and community outreach app. Created in response to new Safe Schools legislation, the mobile application gives students and parents an avenue to quickly, conveniently and anonymously report incidents of bullying and victimization in schools.
Research has indicated that this form of communication has empowered students and parents by greatly increasing the number of incidents reported, compared to all other reporting vehicles in place. The app is free for users, and can be accessed through various means including a cell phone that is capable of texting, by calling a toll-free number, or through a web chat. The service links to a live, trained operator who will respond to concerns during business hours, with an automated system setup for after hours.
Once the concern is submitted, a report is generated (within 2 minutes) and forwarded via email to the school administrator(s) for investigation and follow-up. If an operator senses a need for immediate response, a phone call will accompany any emails.
The app will also serve as a tool for community outreach, communicating Board news, student transportation information, and school news and announcements.
Empower is available for use by all CDSBEO students in grades 7 through 12, beginning January 1, 2014. To download the app, please search “CDSBEO Empower” in your app store, for iOS and Android.
How to Anonymously Report an Incident
There are several ways to anonymously report an incident:
- Download the app by searching “CDSBEO Empower” in your app store; or
- Text a message to 613-704-2628; or
- Call 1-855-347-4894; or
- Start a web chat via the link below.
To access the web version of the reporting feature, please click below:
How does Empower work?
- Send Empower a text at 613-704-2628, via the FREE Android or iOS app, or by web chat at www.cdsbeo.on.ca.
- The service centre receives the message, showing a scrambled sender’s number.
- The sender will receive an automated reply to say that the service has received their text.
- The operator reviews the text and asks basic questions. (e.g. What happened? Where?)
- The tip and related information is sent to the appropriate school.
- The school responds to the information received.
WITS – Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out, Seek Help
The WITS Programs bring together schools, families, and communities to create responsive environments that help children deal with bullying and peer victimization. WITS has two components: the WITS Primary Program (Kindergarten – Grade 3) and the WITS LEADS Program (Grades 4 – 6).