A new Sit With Us app helps combat lunchtime bullying in high school by encouraging students to be lunch buddies.
At Montgomery Blair High School, There are students who will eat lunch with almost anyone and not make a secret of it. Senior Jason Koch-Gallup downloaded the app after seeing some students sitting alone in the hallways during lunch, and he has issued open invitations to his classmates to join him for lunch. He hope to make lunchtime gatherings that help students make more friends.
“It made me sad, so I wanted to do something about it,” he said.
The phone app is free. Students create a profile, set their location and receive notifications about lunchtime meetings. Jake is a Sit With Us ambassador, so he organizes the gatherings. At first, the lunches drew about five or ten students, but now 30 or 40 people have signed up for the app at his school.
“It’s very easy to get lost in your own world,” said Betty Samuel, another teen ambassador. Her goal is to make students find that lunch is a safe space and help other students get to know each other. She remembers being a newcomer to a private school in ninth grade, where she didn’t know anyone.