Press Releases & Media Coverage

Online Student Safety Remains a Big Concern at Schools Across the Country

Bloomington, IL (April 9, 2014) – The Gaggle Human Monitoring Service (HMS) discovered millions of inappropriate words and images in student email, text messages, discussion boards, email attachments and computer files, leading to thousands of warnings sent to school district administrators and law enforcement during the first semester of the 2013-14 school year.

Gaggle HMS filters, blocks and routes inappropriate messages, files and images to a team of “cyber security agents” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company works with hundreds of school districts across the country, helping to detect potential issues early, alerting district officials at any hour if a threat is imminent and allowing educators and parents to intervene positively.

Just last week, ABC News profiled a story involving schools across six counties in Virginia faced with a teenage “sexting” scandal. Sexting refers to sending sexually explicit messages, photos or videos using mobile devices. The story linked 100 students between the ages of 14 and 17 to over 1,000 inappropriate images posted on the social media site Instagram.

“Unfortunately, situations involving teenagers and sexting are becoming more common as access to technology that promotes online communication becomes easier and more affordable,” said Gaggle CEO and founder Jeff Patterson. “HMS was created to help detect questionable content and potentially harmful situations from occurring throughout, and after, the school day.”

Gaggle’s most recent infographic, Words Not to Live By, identified almost 300,000 mentions of sex, 41,000 mentions of suicide and 112,000 mentions of drugs between students in just four months. The company also reported that even more mentions of suicide, self-harm and sex rose during winter breaks, vacations and even snow days.

Gaggle complies with all US privacy and safety laws, particularly those involving children. These include the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).