Even the most conscientious school officials aren’t always aware of the numerous messages related to self-harm, suicide, substance abuse, and cyberbullying in schools. A recent article in the Omaha World Herald highlights efforts in Nebraska to curb the rise of this disturbing content.
Schuyler Community Schools in Schuyler, NE are taking a deeper look into their students’ online usage and behavior. Beyond just blocking Internet sites, Schuyler seeks to find potentially harmful content to students in emails, documents, shared files, images, and photos. “Gaggle opened our eyes to what was going on,” said Jeff Droge, Schuyler’s IT director, “We’re now able to get our students the help they need and even stop bullying before it gets started.”
“Instead of being reactionary, we’re proactive and even heading some things off that would have gone down a dangerous path,” said Superintendent Dr. Doug Hoesing. “Now, it’s more of a proactive approach to keeping the good kids good, while getting help to those who may harm themselves or others.”
Bill McCullough, Vice President of Sales for Gaggle, added: “We are looking for kids in crisis. When we have actionable intelligence for the district they are actually able to intervene before that crisis happens.” Last year, Gaggle helped save 542 students from suicide. Since the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, the number of lives saved is 413.
In Millard Public Schools, located in Omaha, NE, educators establish from the onset that transparency is key. Administrators alert students that written statements and images on school-issued devices will be analyzed and evaluated for inappropriate content. Millard is increasingly focusing on building digital citizenship by making students more responsible users of technology.