New National report reveals astonishing number of K-12 students acting in ways that pose an immediate danger to themselves or others — and leaving evidence of this behavior online
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (Oct. 16, 2019) — From self-harm to violence towards others to the sharing of nudity and sexual content, K-12 students are engaging in an alarming number of dangerous behaviors, and they are leaving evidence of this behavior in their online activity within Google’s G Suite, Microsoft Office 365 and the Canvas learning management system. According to a new national student safety report from Gaggle, The State of Student Safety Through the Gaggle Lens , from July 2018 through June 2019, Gaggle safety experts identified nearly 14,000 incidents revealing an imminent threat to a student’s life or well-being — and more than 40 percent of these happened outside of school hours.
“With over 100,000 safety issues observed among Gaggle’s nearly 5 million users in 2018-19 — including nearly 13,000 cases deemed serious enough to warrant immediate action — it’s clear that K-12 leaders have their work cut out for them in keeping students safe,” said Jeff Patterson, Gaggle CEO. “While students may appear to be fine at school, they often express their thoughts and feelings more freely online. School leaders might never know about students’ cries for help unless they have visibility into their use of school-issued digital tools.”
During the 2018-19 school year, Gaggle reported:
- 52,000 references to suicide or self-harm in students’ online activity. Of these, more than 6,000 were serious enough to merit immediate attention by the district, which resulted in more than 700 lives saved.
- 34,000 references of violence toward others. Of these, more than 1,600 warranted an immediate call to prevent a potential incident.
- 15,000 examples of nudity or sexual content, of which 5,100 required immediate action.
These figures come from Gaggle’s safety management solution, which uses a combination of artificial intelligence and trained safety experts to help K-12 districts proactively ensure the safety and well-being of all students. During the 2018/19 academic school year, Gaggle analyzed and viewed over 3.9 billion items of which 70 million items were reviewed for suspicious content. Gaggle is committed to keeping students safe by scanning school accounts for harmful content. They then alert school officials when students show signs of self-harm, depression, thoughts of suicide, substance abuse, cyberbullying, credible threats of violence against others, or other harmful situations.
Before implementing Gaggle, Dickinson Independent School District (DISD) was struggling with encryption and content filter challenges related to its use of Google and G Suite for Education, the latter of which is used for both student and staff communication and collaboration. Drawn in by Gaggle’s 24/7/365 online guarantee and the way it could quickly identify, act on, and alert the district of potential problems, DISD implemented the platform in August of 2018. During the platform’s first year in use, the district caught numerous potential problems that ranged from seemingly innocent sentences to full-blown emergencies—and everything in between.
“Gaggle triggered additional help for the students whom we may have otherwise missed,” said Dr. Melissa Williams-Scott, Executive Director of Information Systems at Dickinson ISD. “We’ve been very pleased with our investment in Gaggle, which is basically like having your own personal ‘911’ system specifically for your district.”
The State of Student Safety Through the Gaggle Lens report is available at https://pages.gaggle.net/18-19-safetyreport/.
Since 1999, Gaggle has been the leader in helping K-12 districts manage student safety on school-provided technology. Using a robust combination of both artificial intelligence and trained safety experts, the safety solution proactively assists districts 24/7/365 in the prevention of student suicide, bullying, inappropriate behaviors, school violence, and other harmful situations. Most importantly, Gaggle continues to help hundreds of districts avoid tragedies and save lives, while also protecting their liability. In the 2018-19 academic year, Gaggle has helped districts save the lives of more than 700 students who were planning or actually attempting suicide. For more information, visit www.gaggle.net and follow Gaggle on Twitter at @Gaggle_K12.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.