The Redlands Board of Education on Tuesday approved a consulting contract between student email provider Gaggle and the Redlands Unified School District.
Gaggle helps teachers monitor their students’ school-issued inboxes to prevent harmful content from being sent and received.
Gaggle professionals monitor Gmail inboxes and Google Drives 24 hours a day, blocking harmful images, categorizing potential harmful incidents and notifying law enforcement or school officials if a threat to a student is discovered.
In the 2018-19 school year, Gaggle helped stop 722 students from comitting suicide across the nation.
The contract between Gaggle and RUSD spans from July 1 to June 30, 2020, and is worth a total of $85,200 to be financed by Local Control and Accountability Plan funds.
As well as creating a proactive approach to student suicide prevention this past school year, Gaggle also blocked and reported over 4,900 instances of child pornography.
In a June press release, Gaggle officials shared just how many lives their software has saved.
“Over the past 20 years, Gaggle has scanned more than 13 billion pieces of student content, flagging over 151 million items for review. … The result is over 1,500 lives saved since 2016.”
One of the software’s many success stories comes from Wichita Falls Independent School district, located in Texas.
“Experiencing a school shooting or student suicide is every school leader’s worst nightmare. In the first six months of this school year, Gaggle has alerted us to 148 threats of violence among our 14,100 students as well as five students planning self-harm.”
Threats could easily pop up in Redlands just like anywhere else in the country. Gaggle it is the hope that our local school district and its students can now be as safe as possible.
“I think it’s a wonderful tool that ensures the safety and well being of our students,” said one RUSD elementary school teacher.
In an age where digital media and communication is a daily occurrence for children and young adults, it is important that school districts are doing everything they can to keep online mediums safe and secure for students.
In addition to meeting the Children’s Internet Protection Act (2000) compliance requirements, Gaggle also complies with digital citizenship efforts.