Gaggle Speaks

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

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Written by Jack Russell
on February 9, 2021

We recently released a report detailing the alarming increases in student safety trends during the first three months of the 2020–21 school year. In our Ring the Alarm: Students in Crisis report, the data highlighted increases across four incident categories, a shift in activity at the elementary level, and a significant number of imminent incidents occurring outside of typical school hours.

Perhaps not surprising but equally concerning, Gaggle has continued to see an increase in student safety incidents since the report data was analyzed. In fact, from the beginning of the school year through January 15, we observed an 80% increase in incidents when compared to the same time period in the 2019–20 school year.

Which types of alerts have grown the most? Here’s a look at how each incident category has risen for districts using Gaggle during the 2020–21 school year:

  • Nudity & Sexual Content: 142%
  • Suicide & Self-Harm: 94%
  • Drugs & Alcohol: 82%
  • Violence Toward Others: 79%

The Impact of the Holiday Blues
The year-over-year increase in each category has continued to grow since our Student Wellness Series: Holiday Blues webinar in December. During the event, which is available to watch on demand, Gaggle’s Vice President of Operations Heather Durkac highlighted a 66% overall increase in incidents at the time.

During the same webinar, Durkac forecasted a strong decline in online student activity but a significant uptick in incident volume during the holiday week of December 21. In fact, during that holiday week, Gaggle districts experienced a 194% increase in incidents when compared to the same week of the prior school year—despite a decline in student device usage from previous weeks.

Two Alarming Trends Since the End of Winter Break
Since the start of January, Gaggle districts have seen an upward trend in incidents pertaining to Violence Toward Others as well as Drugs & Alcohol. “With students returning from winter break and districts making efforts to return to in-person learning, it makes sense that these two categories would rise,” said Durkac. “Relative to the other types of incidents, the growth in these two groups was somewhat subdued during increased distance learning because social distancing decreased the transmission of drugs and physical altercations—especially on school grounds.”

During the first half of January, incidents pertaining to Violence Toward Others grew 172% over the same time period from last school year, while incidents related to Drugs & Alcohol increased by 178%. Gaggle will continue to monitor and share the latest trends as we progress through this rather unique school year.

To find out more about how Gaggle can help your district identify and help students who are struggling, schedule a demo with a Gaggle representative in your area. If you’re interested in learning how you can partner with Gaggle to connect your students with mental health professionals, check out our recent Everything You Want to Know About Gaggle Therapy webinar.

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