As the 2017-18 school year gets underway, it's never too late to evaluate what you're doing to keep students safe when they use school-provided tools such as G Suite for Education, Office 365 or a learning management system like Canvas.
Here’s why: When looking at own data from the Gaggle Safety Management Dashboard across the schools we worked with in 2016-17, two important trends surface.
First, references to suicide and self-harm are far too common in email, shared documents, videos and other student-generated content. Our data jibes with Safe2Tell Colorado, which revealed during the 2015-16 school year that the Suicide/Cutting category received the most submissions (1,341) to the anonymous reporting system, more than Bullying/Cyberbullying (1,059) and Drugs/Substance Abuse (637).
The second alarming trend is that references to suicide are not limited to just older students. In fact, while 41% of the incidents involving suicide in 2016-17 came from high school students, almost an equal amount (40%) came from middle school students, according to our data. References to suicide also gradually increased during the school year with 51% of all incidents occurring between March and June.
We understand that there’s plenty to plan for and execute at the start of any school year. However, during the Student Safety Symposiums being held throughout the country and throughout the school year, one consistent theme is shared amongst the educators who attend: Student safety should never take a backseat and we should always be looking for ways to keep our students safe.