Protecting Students from Internet Crimes

Online communication and collaboration open up a whole new world for students and teachers. But this new world has a potential dark side by providing students with opportunities to get into serious trouble.

Protecting students online was the theme of last week’s Gaggle webcast, “Student Online Safety In Action,” which welcomed Denver Police Sergeant Daniel Steele, from the FBI’s Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force, and Jon Castelhano, Director of Technology at Apache Junction Unified School District in Arizona.

While Sergeant Steele’s work often focuses his attention on human trafficking, he was able to share an incredible amount of knowledge and advice as a member of law enforcement and as a parent. His presentation “Protecting Children from Internet Crimes” was also part of the Student Online Safety Symposium held in Phoenix earlier this year.

In addition to sharing statistics and resources during the hour-long webcast, Sergeant Steele provided tips for school administrators responsible for student online safety including warning signs that can lead to luring children and exploiting them online. Among them:

  • Truancy
  • Delinquency
  • Family Dysfunction
  • Abuse & Neglect
  • Running Away
  • Homelessness

“We’re finding more and more cases that involve minors that don’t involve the typical websites,” he said. Instead, they’re on social media sites like MeetMe or Facebook or using apps like Kik or Snapchat.”

Sergeant Steele shared resources from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Shared Hope International, the Urban Institute and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, among others. “It’s not just kids who run away down the street,” he said. “A lot of times they’re just sitting in their home or their classroom, on their phone or on a social media site.”

The webcast concluded with Jon Castelhano sharing stories about how Apache Junction works with Gaggle to help keep its students safe. The school district has been using Gaggle Safety Management for Googe Apps as part of its 1:1 program in grades 7-12 for more than five years. Attendees also learned about the different categories of content and notifications that are part of Gaggle Safety Management.

“The notifications bring attention to some deeper issues that might be going on with students that allow us to dig a little deeper,” said Jon. “The results have been really positive with a number of students now set up on success plans to help them.”

You can watch the “Student Online Safety In Action” webcast on-demand by scrolling to the section “Archived Webcasts (2016).”