ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- This month the Issaquah School District will launch 'Talk About It,' a support system that allows students to communicate with school administrators.
Middle and high school students will be able to express their feelings and concerns about challenges like bullying, family problems, and peer pressure. The system also allows students to send messages to administrators anonymously.
Sixth grader Reilee Butcher likes the idea.
"I think it is really cool because some people are really shy and they might not speak up. They can go online without having to go to someone face-to-face," said Butcher.
Michelle Trifunovic, Executive Director of Middle Schools, said the district spent $14,000 in order to have the program in Issaquah schools for the next two years.
"What I like the most is we are giving kids a voice," said Trifunovic.
The way it works is a student signs in, sends a message (which can remain anonymous) to an administrator, and the administrator will respond during school hours.
Trifunovic provided the example of a student who reports bullying. She said the response could be, "thanks for your message. Sorry you are dealing with this. Would you feel comfortable coming to see me?"
The district hopes it will open the door for a deeper discussion. If a student does not want to reveal their identity, school administrators will still send them advice.
Students who decide to take part in the program must sign up on the 'Talk About It' website and agree to the terms and conditions. One rule is if a student sends a message that threatens harm to themselves or someone else, then the school district will retrieve the student's information from the website administrator and work to intervene.
Learn more about the new program here.