Opinion: Potomac Institutes New Bias Reporting System, but Some Students Aren’t Seeing the Point

Opinion: Potomac Institutes New Bias Reporting System, but Some Students Arent Seeing the Point

Jessica Raman

Student reactions to Potomac’s new bias reporting system, Anonymous Alerts, have been mixed at best. The system’s anonymity is presumably intended to encourage reporters to come forward and not be afraid of retaliation; instead, the reports tend to instill fear in all involved. While a student can send and receive messages with the team who receives their report, they can’t have a real conversation with anyone because the team doesn’t know who the reporter is. If an anonymous reporter wishes to remain that way, they will have to be very vague, to the point where their report won’t mean much. This leaves students who wish to remain anonymous in a difficult position. Do they reveal their identity, given that they wanted to remain anonymous, or do they remain anonymous but risk a miscommunication or an unsatisfying resolution? Freshman Sana Brin points out that one problem of the system is that “[administrators] can’t really track the person,” so when the report comes in, it’s very hard to get the details. 

Freshman Karina Satoskar commented, “I think the bias reporting system is great if you want to remain anonymous, but I personally would rather talk to a trusted adult because I think the anonymity of it takes away from the ability to respond to that specific incident.” 

In my opinion, in almost every case, it is much better to talk to someone you trust as opposed to filing a report on the app.

 Because of the anonymous nature of the program, senders of false reports will not be found out, further damaging the integrity of the system. When the team receives a report, the last thing a reporter would want is for them to be sorting through a pile of reports, trying to figure out if their report is real. This anonymity poses a major problem, because real reports might not get the attention they deserve, and false reports might damage a student’s reputation and cause them a lot of unnecessary stress.