Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

Written by Lisa Railton
on March 3, 2020

Managing a high number of suicide ideation and self-harm situations, Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District knew it needed to take action. Located in Texas, the 37-school district—where most campuses are 1:1—adopted Gaggle to watch over students in its Google environment.

Since implementing Gaggle’s student safety platform, the district’s administrators, counselors, and teachers are in closer touch with students. “By adopting a student safety platform, we gained another way to recognize and help students in crisis,” said Mario De La Rosa, director of Safety and Security. In one particular instance, De La Rosa received an alert from Gaggle about a student who had written a suicide note to his parents on his school-issued account. With that information, the district was able to intervene before tragedy struck.

Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD has also intervened in multiple cases of self-harm, which can be an indicator that a student could potentially be in the planning stages of a suicide. “Although many students don’t have current suicidal ideation with self-injury,” said the district’s Counseling Behavior Coordinator, Lyn Torres, “the research indicates that those who do self-injure by cutting, burning, or picking may have a greater likelihood of suicide ideation and/or an attempt in the future.”

Mental health awareness has been built into the curriculum at Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, training in suicide awareness and talking to students and staff about suicide prevention. “This is a major initiative for our district,” said Torres. “We know that if we’re not meeting our kids’ social and emotional needs, then they’re not going to be able to learn.”

Along with Gaggle, the district also uses an app that allows students to anonymously report issues to administrators. These tools help the district take proactive steps to minimize the occurrence of student suicides, self-harm, bullying, and cyberbullying. Read our case study to learn more about this district’s efforts to meet students’ mental health needs.

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