Former Reds catcher Johnny Bench launches anti-bullying app

FILE - In this July 14, 2015 file photo, Johnny Bench is introduced as one of the Cincinnati Reds Franchise Four before the MLB All-Star baseball game, in Cincinnati. Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Bench has launched a new cellphone app aimed at combatting bullying in schools nationwide. The Cincinnati Reds catcher officially launched his "Smithfield School App" on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse in downtown Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
FILE - In this July 14, 2015 file photo, Johnny Bench is introduced as one of the Cincinnati Reds Franchise Four before the MLB All-Star baseball game, in Cincinnati. Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Bench has launched a new cellphone app aimed at combatting bullying in schools nationwide. The Cincinnati Reds catcher officially launched his "Smithfield School App" on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse in downtown Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

CINCINNATI (AP) – Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench has launched a new cellphone app aimed at combating bullying in schools nationwide.

The Cincinnati Reds catcher officially launched his “Smithfield School App” on Thursday at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse in downtown Cincinnati.

The app – named for its sponsor Smithfield Foods – allows teachers and administrators to notify parents of reports of bullying, cyberbullying, threats, school closings and other alerts.

Approximately 5,000 schools across the country are slated to use the app, which is free for users with schools paying a $79 monthly hosting fee.

Bench says he still remembers two boys who bullied him when he was in eighth grade more than 50 years ago. He says he wants to see every child protected as much as possible.

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