CINCINNATI - Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench said he remembers when two boys bullied him when he was in the eighth grade more than 50 years ago. He said he wants to see every child protected, so on Thursday he launched a new cellphone app aimed at fighting bullies in schools nationwide.
Bench, who starred for the Cincinnati Reds for 17 seasons and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989, introduced his Smithfield School App in downtown Cincinnati. Bench owns a company, moblWorks, that creates custom apps for schools.
The app allows teachers and administrators to notify parents of reports of bullying, cyberbullying, threats, school closings and other alerts, The Associated Press reported.
“There is way too much bullying going on in schools these days and cyberbullying is the No. 3 cause of teen suicide in our country,” Bench said in a news release. “I have school-age kids, and I want every child protected as much as possible.”
Approximately 5,000 schools nationwide are scheduled to use the app, Bench said. The app is free for users, with schools paying a $79 monthly hosting fee.