2013 National Exemplary Bullying Prevention Program Award Presented to Rockdale County Public Schools

District's Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative Gives Students a Voice With SchoolMessenger's Talk About It Service to Dramatically Reduce Bullying

Feb 27, 2013, 09:00 ET from SchoolMessenger

LOS GATOS, Calif. and CONYERS, Ga., Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- SchoolMessenger, the leading provider of communication solutions for education, today announced that Rockdale County Public Schools, located in Conyers, GA, received the 2013 National Exemplary Bullying Prevention Program Award from the School Safety Advocacy Council. Led by project specialist Rachael Long, the Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative has enabled the district to dramatically reduce bullying incidents. One component of the initiative includes Talk About It® from SchoolMessenger, an anonymous communication service which provides a confidential way for students to 'speak up' using text or online messaging.

"Talk About It has become an invaluable service to our students," said Ms. Long. "Not only have students come forth to share very serious issues with the adults in their school buildings, but they have also learned that the best way to address problems is to reach out to someone who can help. While we initially purchased the service as a way to address bullying in our schools, it didn't take long to learn that students would use it for so much more – from resolving fights to reporting teen dating violence to uncovering cases of self-harm and even feelings of suicide."

Originally launched in 2005, and currently in use by more than 500,000 students nationwide, Talk About It was designed around the concept that students are the best resource for knowing what is going on inside their schools. If a problem or threat should arise, Talk About It enables a student to anonymously and confidentially 'speak up' using text or online messaging. With electronic communications, students can avoid the stigma of being seen reaching out to a counselor or faculty member or 'snitching' on a fellow student. Individual schools have reported that the service successfully reduced bullying by up to 70% and improved school climate.

"We are very proud to congratulate Rockdale County Public Schools for its pioneering efforts in the area of bullying prevention," said Carter B. Myers, vice president of Anonymous Communications Solutions at SchoolMessenger and a co-developer of Talk About It. "Talk About It is a preventative tool that empowers students to break the 'code of silence' and report problems before it's too late. We believe that when given the encouragement to report issues, and the tools to do so safely and confidentially without fear of reaction from their peers, students will do the right thing and speak up to adults. By placing our service in their hands, and allowing them to confidentially confide in a trusted adult, the district has been able to improve school climate and prevent or resolve a number of issues that may not have otherwise had a way to surface."

For more information about SchoolMessenger's Talk About It service,  visit: http://talk.schoolmessenger.com. A video and free white paper (Creating a Culture of Dialogue: Four Practical Steps for Better Communication and Safer Schools) are also available.

About SchoolMessenger
SchoolMessenger is a leading provider of communication solutions for education. Thousands of school districts, public schools, colleges, universities, private schools and other educational facilities in all 50 states depend on the company's innovative solutions, including the SchoolMessenger notification service and Talk About It anonymous communication service. Founded in 1999, the company is headquartered in Los Gatos, California. For information, visit www.schoolmessenger.com or call 888.527.5225.

Media Contact:
Carleen LeVasseur
SchoolMessenger Public Relations

SOURCE SchoolMessenger