SALT LAKE CITY – Six Utah schools have started using a Web site that allows students to anonymously report bullies.
A Brigham Young University student, Justin Bergener, created the site, which also lets students post information about thefts, drugs and harassment.
Bergener said he hopes students who might otherwise be too scared or shy to speak up will be willing to post on the site.
"There really is this culture and code of silence that's particularly prevalent in middle schools and high schools," Bergener said.
Many students may not want to be seen in the office talking to an authority figure, said Rosanna Ungerman, principal of Provo's Dixon Middle School.
"It allows students to have an outlet and avenue to report things they might otherwise not have reported," Ungerman said.
Nearly 50 schools in other states are also using the Web site.
Even some parents have reported incidents anonymously, said Judy Runolfson, Lehi Junior High's assistant principal.
"There's a greater awareness that it's a situation that needs to be looked into right away because we know it can lead from something that's not that bad to something much worse," Runolfson said.
Lehi seventh-grader Kimmy Mortenson said she hasn't used the Web site, but thinks it's a good idea.
"I think kids would feel more comfortable about reporting bullies that way," Mortenson said. "They can safely report and not get bullied by the bully."