Since bullying is a common issue in schools, especially middle schools, I decided to copy the creative action of Jeff Nichols, another coach within our district, by adding "The Bully Button" to our school's main webpage.
When a student clicks this button, it takes them to a Google Form I created that allows them to quickly report a bullying incident with as few or as many details as they would like to share. They can choose to identify themselves or they can remain anonymous. Once they submit the form, I have it set to notify via email the school administrator who can then address the incident.

If you are a Google Docs user and want to set up something similar for your school, here are the steps you can follow to make your own "Bully Button."
  1. Create a button using whatever tool you are familiar with and put it onto your website (I use PowerPoint and then simply snip out the image and save as a jpeg). You may also simply put text on your site and link it to the form. A "button" is not necessary but stands out more than simple hypertext.
  2. Create the form in Google Docs and copy the link to the live form to your clipboard so you can link the button/text on your school webpage to your live form. The link to the live form is always at the bottom of the page when you are editing the form.
  3. Next, share the form with whoever will need access to the reports* (admins, counselors, SRO, etc.) by clicking "SHARE" in the upper right hand part of the screen and entering their email addresses. The default is for them to be able to edit. Leave it this way. *These users must have a Google account linked to the email address you enter in order to view the responses to the form.
  4. Now, click on the TOOLS menu and choose "Notification Rules." Check the boxes "A user submits a form," "Any changes are made" and "Email Right Away." This will ensure that when a form is submitted, you will be notified via email w/a link to the form and can quickly view the info.
  5. You will also need to make sure all the people sharing the form follow these same steps to set up the Notification Rules so they get the email.
  6. Share with your faculty, staff, parents, and students that the option is now available to them and hopefully they will use it when needed.

Now that we have this button live, I used our school's social media presence to make students aware that they can now report bullies digitally. I hope this creates a way for students who are reluctant to speak out about bullying incidents to share what they know with someone who will step in and help. I am sure as with any opportunity to anonymously share information, we will get some bogus reports BUT if we get one genuine report that allows us to help a victim, then it's worth the time it to took to do it. I know for me, I would have never called a "hotline" or filled out an incident report and put it in a box, but I probably would have clicked a "bully button."