Tuesday, October 13 , 2015, 5:21 pm | Partly Cloudy 82º

Righetti High School’s New Mobile App Features Bully Button

By Kenny Klein for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District |

Righetti High School students and parents are praising a mobile app that allows them to use everyday technology such as a cell phone to access a variety of school information — and now, report bullying.

There have been more than 7,000 views since the RHS app became available for download last April. No view data is presently available for the Bully Button because it was introduced this fall.

RHS school counselor Eric Blanco said the app has proven to be a wonderful way to offer family engagement because most everyone already spends a lot of time in cyberspace.

“This is the future, and our students are beyond ready to use the newest technology and so are our parents,’’ \Blanco said. “Just look around, everyone young and old are synced in, checking emails, searching the Internet and texting.’‘

The Bully Button assists students by sending their messages to security, counselors and administration. The information is evaluated before staff intervenes or offers counseling services — if they are needed.

“The goal is to respond quickly and in a timely manner,’’ Blanco said, adding that it’s “better to be safe than sorry.”

False reports result in disciplinary action if evidence shows the app was used inappropriately. The app also helps RHS to be in compliance with the new state law (Seth’s Law) that mandates school districts adopt a specific process for receiving and investigating complaints involving bullying, sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression.

The idea for the school app, which works for both Android and Apple technology, began in November 2011 when Blanco read an online-blogging article by Dalinda Gonzalez-Alcantar, who was art teacher and the founder of the Texas-based company Ejucomm. The RHS app is easily found on personal technology. Parents can also access the RHS Parent Portal, where information ranges from attendance to school work.

RHS is the first high school in California to have an app designed and built by Ejucomm. Blanco and Gonzalez-Alcantar are both AVID coordinators (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a nationwide program that prepares students for four-year universities.

RHS senior Valerie Gonzalez said the app is a mecca of information that’s very easy to use.

“I love the Righetti app,’’ Gonzalez said. “It has all the resources and information a student needs.’‘

— Kenny Klein is the media contact for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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