Build your own Report Abuse for students in your school: Part 1


Ever since the 7th February 2012 which was Safer Internet Day I have been wondering how I could build and share some kind of Report Abuse system in SharePoint that you could build into your own SharePoint environment.

Safer Internet Day was run to make kids and teenagers aware of what to share on the internet, how to behaviour in a safe manner and don’t be afraid to report abuse from strangers on the internet or by bullies in or out of the school.  There has been an awareness video made which you might find useful to demonstrate to pupils.

Building a report abuse area into SharePoint 2010 requires a few steps but it will allow there to be some key features

  • An area for students to report abuse
  • A page for students to see about the effects of internet abuse and the videos from the Safer Internet Day campaign
  • An secure area for selected member of staff to see the reports and get in touch with the student.

Create a new SharePoint Site

We need to create a new SharePoint site, something that is going to have a useful link that kids can remember.  Navigate to the top of your SharePoint site and create a new blank site classes ‘Report Abuse’.  Ensure the site has unique permissions as we need to set special permissions in the site to ensure anything that is reported is kept secure from other pupils.


You are left with a blank site and we need to start some SharePoint Features that will allow us to do everything we need in this series.

Go to Site Actions, Site Settings and then select Site Features under Site Actions.

Activate the following services

  • Metadata Navigation and Filter
  • SharePoint Server Standard Site features
  • Wiki Page Home Page

The main feature we are going to use is a workflow that takes a submitted form in the submitted list, copies it to a new list that is managed by a teacher and then deleted from the submitted list so other students can’t find it.

Create Report Abuse Content Type

Its important that we have consistency between the drop off of the reports and the logging of the report for member of staff to see and we can do this by making on content type and adding it to both lists.

The column we need which you can add in the same way are

  • Is this about you or a friend?
    • Type: Choice
    • Options: It’s about me, Its about my friend
  • Is this happening at school or out of school?
    • Type: Choice
    • Options: In school, Out of School, Both
  • Date it happened or started
    • Type: Date (no time)
  • What happened?
    • Type: Multiple lines (Plain Text)
  • How should we talk to you about what happened?
    • Type: Choice
    • Options: Call me from a lesson,  You will see your form tutor about it, let talk over email

Here is the process to create the first of these.  I’ll let you create the others

Go to Site Actions, Site Settings


Under Galleries, got Site Columns


Click on Create at the top and give the first column a name

Under Groups create a new group called Report Abuse.  When you create each of the other columns you will find Report Abuse in the Existing group drop down list.


The description box can be left blank but if you want to give the pupils a little more direction or an explanation of what will happen with the information you can do.

Enter the different choices into the box and set that the column has to contain information.


At the bottom of the page you will see Default Value.  This will have the first choice in the list but by deleting this it will mean the user will have to pick one of these.


Click Ok to create this column and then create all the others remembering to use the same grouping name.

Create the Content Type

When we have created all these columns we now want to create them into a content type so when we add them to different lists we have some consistency of columns.

Go to Site Actions, Site Settings


Under Galleries, got Site Content Types


Click on Create and call the content type Report Abuse

You will need to select a parent content type.  Select List Content Type and then Item.


Give this content type a new Group called Report Abuse.  It will help us to find it later on.

Now go into the content type and add the site columns created earlier.

Creating 2 custom lists

We need 2 lists, one will be used for students to submit and the other is used to monitor all the submitted reports by students.  We need to have different permissions on both of these lists so students have the ability to submit but don’t see the other list of other submitted reports.

The 2 lists are going to be called.

  • Report Abuse
  • Submitted Reports

Go to Site Actions and then More Options…


Find Custom List and create the first one called Report Abuse


When the list is created go to List Settings


In General Settings, go to Advanced settings and set Yes to Allow Management of Content Types.


Click on OK and you will be taken back to the List Settings page.  In the Content Type area on the page click Add from existing site Content Types.


In the groups you will see Report Abuse.  Add this Content Type which will include all the columns you have created.


Now click ‘Change new button order and default content type.


Uncheck Item


Now complete this same process for the Submitted Reports list

In Part 2 we will create the workflow that will take the submitted report and move it to a secure area for a teacher to use and track reports.

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