VIDEO: Student Designs Anti-Bullying App for Schools
Driven by his personal experiences being bullied in eighth grade, 17-year-old Brandon Boynton has created a new app called The BullyBØx that aims to stop cyberbullying. According to WishTV, The BullyBØx is free for students at the schools where it is implemented, and allows them to anonymously report incidents and email screenshots directly to school administrators.
The anonymity of the app encourages students who report cyberbullying to feel like upstanders rather than “snitches.” Liberty Christian High School in Anderson, IN is the first school to implement The BullyBØx, and several schools are following suit. Superintendent Lynn Staley is excited for the new anti-bullying tool, stating, “It makes it simple. It’s easy to use. You can use it on all technology. It’s anonymous. Why wouldn’t we want to do that?”
Since creating The BullyBØx, Brandon has partnered with Pro-Claim, a nonprofit that works to encourage people to live without limits, and has set up an Indie GoGo fund to raise money for the app’s expansion.
Family Designs Anti-Bullying Video Game
Australian game developers Jason and Nicole Stark’s new game, Ninja Pizza Girl, is a sci-fi platform that addresses very real issues, according to The Guardian. Originally, the husband and wife team wanted to create a funny game based on their eldest daughter’s experiences as a pizza delivery girl. Yet as they discussed more about what it’s like to be a teenager, the game became much more realistic to bring in their daughters’ experiences.
The Stark’s second daughter, Raven, has Asperger’s and had been tormented at school. When they asked her what teenagers are most afraid of, she replied, “Other teenagers.” Now, instead of fighting off robots, the game’s lead character avoids enemies that call her names and trip her, mimicking real-life bullying behaviors.
Since the Starks incorporated Raven’s experiences into the game, Ninja Pizza Girl, has become very popular in the gaming community. Nicole, who was preparing for backlash and “nasty comments,” was blown away by the positive response she received instead. She states, “This is an industry that desperately needs to have a conversation about bullying and inclusiveness, and judging by the support we’ve received, there’s a lot of people ready to have it.”
13-Year-Old Scientist Rethinks Cyberbullying
Thirteen-year-old Trisha Prabhu was recently selected as a global finalist for the Google Science Fair 2014 for an innovative cyberbullying prevention system, according to BGR. Trisha combined her passions for science, technology, and psychology to create “Rethink: An Effective Way to Prevent Cyberbullying,” which provides teenagers with an opportunity to reconsider posting hurtful messages online.
Her experiment included a “Baseline” and “Rethink” system, and then tabulated the teenagers’ willingness to post hurtful messages on social media sites when they did or did not get a chance to re-think their decision. Moving forward in her project, Trisha is working on a product prototype for “Rethink” that will be compatible with an array of social media platforms.