Safety Management in Action: Saving a Student’s Broken Heart

Valentine’s Day often is filled with candy hearts, flowers and chocolates, but unfortunately it sometimes isn’t all about romance and expressions of love. For young and impressionable teens, Valentine’s Day can be a reminder of recent breakups, relationship troubles and being alone.

This past Valentine’s Day, “Amy” was using her Gmail account to email her friend “Jacob’s” Gaggle account. Initially, the conversation revolved around typical adolescent relationship problems. However, the exchange quickly took a turn for the worse, with Amy stating “I want to die” and “I want to kill myself.”

Although Amy was using her Gmail account, with a simple search for the student’s full name, a Gaggle Student Safety Representative discovered she was in the same district as Jacob and immediately notified the appropriate emergency contact within minutes of this potentially ominous situation.

Student’s will sometimes attempt to communicate outside of Gaggle to avoid the filters that many of them know about. Luckily, unless both students are using an outside email provider, Gaggle’s Student Safety Representatives―part of Gaggle Safety Managment―are able to monitor email from an outside source to a Gaggle user.

Often, in the best-case scenario, this type of declaration by a student is nothing more than drama or attention seeking. In this particular case, Amy was found to have a troublesome history of suicide threats according to the district’s emergency contact after speaking with Amy’s parents. Because of the quick action by the Gaggle Student Safety Representative, and subsequent notification of the proper authority and her parents, Amy will continue to receive the care and attention she so desperately needs.

With phrases like “kill myself” being sent through Gaggle over 100 times per week, is your district doing what’s necessary to make sure these statements aren’t going unnoticed?