Anti-bullying app matches teens with those to sit with at lunch

- Long before Mean Girls made “you can’t sit with us” a ubiquitous lunchroom line, teens everywhere were hearing it from their local plastics. In fact, who you sit with at lunch can be pretty stressful if your BFFs don’t have the same lunch period as you, or if you haven’t found your crew yet.

Since no one needs extra school-related stress, one teen decided to use her tech skills to fix lunchroom worries. Huffington Post reports Natalie Hampton, a 16-year-old from Sherman Oaks, California launched a new app called Sit With Us, which matches people with someone to sit with at lunch.

FOX 11 Parenting Contributor Donna Tetreault said, "Kids can logon to the app and see if there are lunches that are being hosted, and they can join in on that lunch." 

Donna also said that the app also encourages other students to be ambassadors, so that a student can walk in and host a lunch, and anyone who wants in can come on in.  "That is huge because students are helping students," says Tetreault.

Natalie started the app because she was bullied in middle school and had to eat alone all the time, according to the app’s about section.

The 'Sit With Us' App features:

  • Don't have to eat lunch alone
  • Privacy is safe via the app: Students won't be publicly rejected
  • Be an ambassador - invites other students to combat bullying

 

“Apart from the verbal taunts and violence, one of the worst things was having to eat lunch alone, and the embarrassment of having others see me eating lunch alone,” Natalie wrote in the app’s description. “After I changed schools, whenever I saw someone eating lunch alone, I would always invite the person to join the group. Each time, the person's face would light up, and the look of relief would wash over the person's face. Some of those people have become some of my closest friends.”

Sit With Us has students designate themselves as ambassadors, which allows them to invite people to sit with them at lunch. A student in search of a table can go on the app and match with an ambassador and sit right down. That way, Natalie told NPR the process is private and you know you won’t be turned away when you sit down.

You can follow FOX 11's Donna Tetrault on Twitter and Facebook.

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