Along with implementing new technology come new concerns about student safety, so when sixth graders at Warsaw Community Schools received Google accounts as part of a 1:1 iPad initiative, district officials knew they needed to do more.
The decision to work with Gaggle turned out to be so positive that Brad Hagg, the district’s Chief Technology Officer, wanted to share some real stories involving some students. Safety Management for G Suite can be customized for any district to include Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs and Google Calendars.
The first story involved an adult who was communicating with a female elementary school student. While the conversation likely started somewhere else online, it quickly found its way to the student’s Gmail account reviewed with Safety Management for G Suite.
“She was totally invested in him and she was all excited about the possibility of a relationship,” said Hagg. “Thanks to Gaggle Safety Management identifying the email conversation, we found out about it pretty early and were able to get our staff involved, stopping the situation before she made physical contact with the individual.”
Since implementing Gaggle Safety Management for G Suite, Warsaw has been alerted of additional possible student situations that otherwise could have gone unnoticed. In addition to Brad Hagg, Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert, and Chief Academic Officer, David Robertson, are designated district emergency contacts. Gaggle Safety Representatives will notify any of the three administrators, at any hour, if a threat is imminent.
“Had we not had Gaggle in place, we would have never known that she was reaching out to this individual and having conversations with him,” said Brad. “We were just thrilled to be able to head that off before something much worse could happen.”
Brad shared a second story that involved a self-harm threat discovered once again in a suspicious Gmail message. This particular incident was serious enough to require a school resource officer and local police to do a home visit.
“Of course, the parent and student were shocked to see a police officer show up,” said Brad. “They ended up actually expressing a lot of gratitude because it was clear that we cared deeply about the safety of the student. The student now realizes the importance of being cautious how you express yourself in an email.”
When asked about the district’s decision to use Safety Management for G Suite and why any school district would choose not to work with Gaggle, Brad’s answer was pretty straightforward. “How much is your student safety worth?” he asked.
“How much is the value of saving a student from harming themselves or doing something that can cause a lifetime of consequences? I really don’t see how you could not put a measure of protection like this in place to help keep your students safe.”