OCSBconnect is a service that allows Grade 7 to 12 students to submit anonymous tips on incidents of bullying, student safety, and crime to school staff by phone, text, or mobile app.
This service, which was requested by our students, strives to make our schools safer and more welcoming by providing students with a tool that allows them to report bullying incidents without putting their own safety at risk.
Is it really anonymous?
Yes! Although students need to register their phone number when installing the app, the service scrambles their phone number when they submit a tip, making it impossible to track or identify the reporter.
How it works
Grade 7-12 students can use OCSBconnect to anonymously report bullying incidents as they are actually happening. The information is tracked and instantly relayed to school administration through a service centre. Here’s a quick overview of what would happen when a student witnesses an incident they want to report:
1. Student submits a tip.
A student sends an anonymous tip to school staff by phoning, texting, or using the free OCSBconnect app. Their phone number is never recorder or tracked. When the student phones in to report an incident, they will hear:
“You have reached OCSBconnect
Press 1 to connect with an operator via text message
Press 2 to connect with a Kids Help Phone operator via anonymous voice call
If this is an emergency, call 911”
2. Details and facts are gathered.
The service centre receives the anonymous tip and links it to a particular school. It also tags the tip with an incident type, prioritizes it, and notifies school personnel of the incident.
3. Tip and related information is sent to school for staff action.
Once all of the pertinent information is gathered, the tip and related information is sent to the school where staff respond to the information received by following school and Board protocols.
Note: The service centre does not offer any counselling. If a student uses OCSBconnect and requires counselling, the service centre will direct the student to contact the school during regular school hours, or will connect them to Kids Help Phone if it’s outside school hours.
What is bullying?
The Education Act’s definition of “bullying” is aggressive and typically repeated behaviour by a pupil where the behaviour is intended by the pupil to have the effect of, or the pupil ought to know that the behaviour would be likely to have the effect of:
- causing harm, fear or distress to another individual, including physical, psychological, social or academic harm, harm to the individual’s reputation or harm to the individual’s property, OR
- creating a negative environment at a school for another individual
AND the behaviour occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance between the pupil and the individual based on factors such as size, strength, age, intelligence, peer group power, economic status, social status, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, family circumstances, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, disability or the receipt of special education.