Gaggle Speaks

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

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Written by Lisa Railton
on September 24, 2021

When it comes to school safety, gun violence is a very real threat to today’s students and educators. Over the past few decades, there has been an alarming number of firearms-related incidents on school grounds, leading many schools to perform active shooter drills in an attempt to prepare students and staff for the worst. According to The Washington Post, more than 256,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since the 1999 tragedy at Columbine. 

For National Campus Safety Awareness Month this September, the National Criminal Justice Training Center has created an infographic detailing statistics around school violence. According to their findings, there were 37 active shooter incidents in American schools between 2000 and 2017. But in 2019 alone, there were 45 school shootings. 

Here at Gaggle, we review school-provided devices and platforms for content that could indicate a student is considering or planning a violent attack. If our technology identifies something concerning—use of a keyword, flagged phrase, or troubling image—that content is then reviewed by a minimum of two tiers of Gaggle safety experts in order to verify the content, understand the context, and determine the level of severity. 

In the most serious, life-threatening situations, our senior team members will immediately alert the school-designated emergency contact, who can then determine the appropriate course of action for the student and their family. During the 2020–21 school year, Gaggle flagged over 92,000 incidents referencing violence, with more than 3,300 warranting an immediate call to the district to prevent a potential incident. 

At least 82 incidents of gunfire have been reported on school grounds so far this year, resulting in 21 deaths and 47 injuries. Studies have shown that intervention and prevention are possible when it comes to school violence. With real-time content analysis and around-the-clock alerts, Gaggle helps K-12 districts across the country proactively identify and support struggling students—avoiding potential tragedies in the process.

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