Gaggle Speaks

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

Written by Gaggle
on June 28, 2017

This is the fifth post in a Gaggle Speaks series on our Safety Management categories. In this post, we discuss our Drugs & Alcohol category.

Gaggle Safety Representatives are tasked with identifying incidents of drug and alcohol use when reviewing student email communications, files, links and attachments. Relative to other categories (Nudity & Sexual Content, Self-Harm, Violence Towards Others and Profanity & Hate Speech), student mentions of drugs and alcohol result in a comparatively lower rate of serious incidents that require immediate attention, because most occurrences refer to students mentioning past use of substances.

Representatives are trained to discern the difference between references of past use and references of present use or intentions to use in the future. Incidents of present use and intentioned future use are treated with a greater sense of urgency, due to our ability to help schools and districts proactively intervene. Past cases still result in communications to emergency contacts, however, so that schools and districts can follow up with the student and see if use is ongoing or whether any help is needed.

There is an uptick in discussions of drinking around homecoming and prom, so be sure to practice more attentiveness during those events.

As you might imagine, most cases are in reference alcohol and marijuana use. It is important to differentiate school-work and personal references to these substances, which is why Safety Representatives are needed in addition to machine learning technology. It comes with no surprise that students often appropriately use alcohol and marijuana as topics for school projects, speeches and similar assignments.

Safety Representatives also will uncover conversations about illegal pill usage, which is why they are thoroughly trained on the ever-evolving language students use when discussing pills. On an as-needed basis, Safety Representatives update the catalogue of terms we review to identify instances of drug and/or alcohol use.

[bctt tweet="Gaggle Safety Management Categories: Drugs & Alcohol" username="Gaggle_K12"]

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