According to a national survey, nearly one in four students say they've been bullied at school.
Dothan City Schools are working to lower that rate.
There's a new tool in their battle against bullying.
"The research will definitely show that if people can give information anonymously they will definitely provide that information," D.C.S Transportation Director Jay Bruner said.
Now Dothan City School students can report problems they're having at school without having to give their name.
"We were trying to find every way to reach children who might need to report something and not feel like they're going to be retaliated for it. We find that's very common if they witness something going on that shouldn't be happening, or if they're being bullied most of the time we hear they fear retaliation if they tell. This is an anonymous way to let us know, let us investigate without having to use a name,” Dothan City Schools Superintendent Tim Wilder said.
The rise of social media and smart phones has taken bullying to a new level but this is a way that popularity can help in the fight against bullying.
It's a smart phone app called "Anonymous Alerts".
It can be downloaded for free on your iPhone or Android device.
The app can also be used for other issues students might want to report anonymously.
"If we get one or two a year that will result in us finding out a bullying situation or even suicide attempts, if someone feels suicidal, things like that. Or we notice that Johnny or Susie is having troubles dealing with day to day routine because of family problems, those are things we need to know and we'll be glad to check into. We want to help the ones that need the help," Wilder said.
"The beautiful thing about anonymous alerts is addresses two things. Of course it addresses safety and nothing can take place unless kids are safe and because of kids feeling more safe it also enhances learning," Bruner said.
You can send a picture and description through “Anonymous Alerts.”
The user name and password for the app is DCS.
If you don't have a smart phone, you can access anonymous alerts through the Dothan City School's website - http://www.dothan.k12.al.us/.