Safety Management in Action: Weeding Out One Student’s Bad Choice

Early one school day, a student, “Jamie,” at Colony High School in Palmer, AK, sent a chat message to his friend letting him know how excited he was to have shown his father something he had nicknamed “neptune.” The word was present in numerous chats the student had, but did not include any further context.

As the chat continued, Jamie said he smoked marijuana the previous night and that he wanted to again. There was no specific time mentioned or definite plans, so although a school administrator was alerted because of the reference to drug use, it wasn’t cause for immediate emergency action.

In a later conversation, Jamie is discussing with a friend their plans to smoke marijuana after school and that he also has “neptune” in his pocket. With a little detective work and the ability for experts to monitor student communications for safety, Gaggle Safety Management student safety representatitves determine that “neptune” most likely refers to drug paraphernalia, which is in the student’s possession at school.

The combination of a strong blocked word list and the well-trained eyes of a Gaggle Student Safety Representative resulted in the immediate notification of Michael Looney, curriculum assistant principal at Colony High School, so that Jamie was unable to make this poor choice that afternoon.

“It was a very timely notification that allowed us to intervene in a situation that could have really gotten out of hand,” said Michael. “The students are not happy, but down the road they will hopefully recognize it could have turned out a lot worse for them.”