New app designed to stop bullying

Monday, June 26, 2017

By Kaci Jones

A new app you may soon be able to download on your phone could connect you with resources to stop bullies. 

This app, B.U.S., which is being developed by students at Rochester Institute of Technology, would connect those who are bullied with people who can help.

B.U.S. stands for “Be heard, Unite voices, Stand together”. The idea is an anonymous platform where people can share their experiences and have others comment on them and hopefully share how they overcame similar problems.

The group making the app, Allied Connect Inc., says the idea came from a personal experience.

Founder and President of Allied Connect Inc., Sophia Dower says her sister suffered from bullying throughout middle and high school and friends and family felt powerless. Dower’s sister eventually transferred to another school district. 

Dower says this app is designed to give students more options and raise awareness of how often students are bullied.

"It is extremely common, we did a survey at my old high school and found that 80 percent of current students there witness bullying happening at school,” Dower said.

Director of Business Development at Allied Connect, Inc. Evan Oslakoeich, says when designing the app it was important to create a safe place for people who need help. “You can read these posts and find ways to help each other,” Oslakoeich said. “We found that a lot of times people are sent to counselors or therapists and it's very difficult to open up to a person who is paid to listen and hasn't necessarily gone through the same thing.”

He also adds the app would have safety features that would check for alarming words and alert school administration if they feel a threat is really present. 

The app would also have a contact list with numbers and emails of people who you can contact if you feel you need to continue the conversation. The group plans to launch their website and app for Android July 1st. They are searching for someone who can build the Apple version of the app. 

Allied Connect is a non-profit so they rely on donations to further their cause. You can help by donating to their GoFundMe account.

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