Former child protection officer develops app to help pupils break their silence

Former Child Protection Unit police officer, Marc Hardwick has developed an anonymous reporting app that's helping children break the silence on challenges they are facing at school including bullying, depression and sexual assault.

Parktown Boys' High School recently announced it's now using The Guardian Schools anonymous reporting app after its former water polo coach pleaded guilty to 144-counts of sexual assault.

A report confirmed assaults that date back to 2009, at the school's hostel.

READ: Parents share how their children are being abused at Parktown Boys

Hardwick explains how the app works and its impact.

It is an anonymous reporting app essentially giving learners the ability to report anonymously on challenges they may be facing or if they are aware of friends facing challenges and they have been told in confidence.

Marc Hardwick, Founder of The Guardian

What would happen is the report leaves their phone, it goes through to predefined person at their school who is responsible for investigating it and if that child has not sent through enough information, the educator is able to go back to the reporter but never know the identity of that person until they have enough information to build a case.

Marc Hardwick, Founder of The Guardian

Hardwick says there is a start up fee of R1 250 and a monthly fee of R500 a month for schools.

He also shares some of the most common transgressions that have been reported.

Some of the statistics that I have unpacked over the last few days, when we look at the type of transgressions being reported, the highest one would be bullying at 30%, thereafter is drugs and interestingly inappropriate behavior by a staff member comes in third at about 13% and thereafter is depression and cutting.

Marc Hardwick, Founder of The Guardian

Click on the link below to hear more about the app...


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