Gaggle Speaks

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

Written by Guest Author
on March 1, 2019

Picture this: A student is struggling with issues that she hasn’t shared with any of her friends, classmates, or even her family. She writes about her problems in a Google doc at school, getting her thoughts and feelings out. That’s where this story ends, right? Wrong. Not when Gaggle is part of the safety program being implemented in a district.

Thanks to Gaggle, schools can be alerted to intervene with situations just like this. By sitting down with the student, a counselor, and the principal—and by communicating with parents—it opens up the door for the student to share her troubles. As an educator, you may not always see everything that goes on. Gaggle helps shine a light where there normally wouldn’t be any.

Principal Douglas Fulton of Freedom High School explained to us that Gaggle gives you a bit more evidence and support when a parent is not aware or accepting of the struggles a student is going through. He believes most parents are very thankful to learn when their children are having issues they were unaware of.

At Freedom High School, Gaggle has helped to build a culture of wellness where students will report other students they believe to be in crisis. According to Fulton, “We are able to provide help and we know what kids are worrying about.”

With Gaggle Safety Management used alongside G Suite for Education, issues can be identified as they are sometimes interjected with homework documents. Says Fulton, “We have found students who were struggling simply because of some random writing within book reports and essays—these were cries for help that we heard because of Gaggle.” Additionally, Mr. Fulton believes the value of the real alerts far outweighs the false positives.

In one instance, the school called the home of a student after receiving a troubling Gaggle alert. The student tried running away from home, and their coach was brought into the loop to keep in contact with him via text message. Thanks to the alert and timely intervention, they were able to catch up with the student and bring him home to safety. Following the incident, the coach and the counselors—along with the student’s parents—helped him get through his struggles.

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